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Credit Cards Get Smart

Credit Cards Get Smart


GoodCredit.com reported several months ago about trends in chip and PIN technology upgrades to traditional credit cards.  Now several competing companies are trying to bring to market digital alternatives to the plastic cards that have filled your wallets and purses without requiring you to carry your smartphone as Apple Pay or Google Wallet do.  These alternatives could also be attractive to most retailers who lack the technology required for the smartphone-based payment systems.  None of these devices are available yet, but will all work with ATMs once they reach the market.

A start-up called Coin began taking orders a couple of years ago for a Bluetooth-enabled digital electronic device designed to be a singular replacement for up to eight of a consumer’s credit cards (or any other type of card that comes with a magnetic stripe, such as a loyalty card).  The Coin device looks like a black plastic credit card except with a small LED display and button and comes with a credit card reader which is used to import your credit card data.  It is initiated through push of a button, unlocked via Bluetooth by your smartphone or by tapping it and then swiped by the cashier.

Stratos is another Bluetooth-enabled card with a card reader, but has unlike Coin has EMV contactless payment and fingerprint security.

Plastc, which is scheduled to ship later this summer, will store up to 20 cards.  Plastc also has contactless, a magnetic stripe, chip-and-PIN technology, and facial authentication.

Swyp is a metal device which will hold information for up to 25 cards which learns users’ preferences according to location and time of the day that the device is used.

Finally, Banq is another digital payment device which will feature similar technology to its competitors but is still being tested so don’t expect to see it as soon as you will see the others.

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