You already keep an array of cards in your wallet: Debit card, credit card and gift cards. Several developers are working on reducing all those cards to just one.
Last year, it was Coin, the super card that holds eight cards and allows you to swipe between them at will. But Coin is still only available for pre-order.
And now Coin’s worst nightmare has arrived in the form of Plastc, which promises to outdo Coin in every way.
For starters, Plastc holds more cards: 20, to be exact, interchangeable via the card’s E-ink display. It also has upgradable firmware, allowing for new features as the technology develops.
Plastc comes out of the gate with NFC technology (just like Apple Pay) — and has EMV capabilities in line with the general shift to more-secure chip-based card readers, rather than magnetic strips. Plastc could even replace your work keycard.
That’s a lot of information on one card.
Like Coin, Plastc has plenty of built-in security features. The card has a PIN lock, and must be synced to a smartphone. That way it can give you proximity alerts to let you know when you’re separated from the card. After a set time away from your phone, the card will enter “Return Me” mode, deleting any stored data. If you lose the card completely, there’s a remote wipe feature.
But with Apple Pay’s release penned for later this month, will we even need a plastic card by the time this thing actually comes out next year? After all, Apple Pay is supposed to allow us to pay for stuff by tapping our phones at payment terminals, securely verifying our identities with a fingerprint.
“Ultimately a cloud-based digital wallet will be the winner,” Ryan Marquis, Plastc COO, told The Verge. “I will utilize Apple Pay because it’s simple and easy, but there are so many use cases in our world where I’m still going to need a physical card. There are so many things that point-of-sale machines just aren’t ready for yet” — such as gas pumps and ATMs.
Plastc has a rechargeable battery, which users can charge wirelessly. A charge lasts 30 days, according to the developers.
The Plastc can be pre-ordered $155, and it is slated to ship sometime in summer 2015.