The mobile wallet has become a battleground, the competition for the phone screen is heating up; but another form of cards and wallets has quietly been coming into play. The all-in-one smart card, a card consolidator of sorts, hopes to flatten your wallet and simplify your life.
Companies like Swyp, Coin Card, Plastc, and Stratos Card have hit the scene, and seek to replace your wallet with one single card that holds gift cards, credit cards, keyfabs, reward cards and more.
What is a Smart Card?
In simple terms, a smart card is essentially the middle ground between a wallet full of cards and a mobile pay (mPay) solution, according to My Bank Tracker. At its most basic level, an all-in-one smart card is capable of storing the information from all your other cards, so that you can just carry the single smart card instead of a wallet full of different cards.
At the moment, these cards offer one key benefit over a mobile wallet: They are accepted everywhere (compared to the roughly 2.4 million stores accepting Apple Pay).
A Bridge to mPay?
Many may consider this a step into the mobile payments arena, as these still require the physical card, but also are accepted everywhere. All of these will require some form of cell phone for complete operation, but many also offer either PIN unlocking with limited operation away from a phone.
For more information, check out the comparison of smart cards on the Financial Brand, and learn about each of the platforms, Swyp, Stratos, Coin Card, and Plastc Card, as well as wallet-sized competitor into universal cards Wocket.
Would you use a smart card? Share your opinions in the comments section below.