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On Monday, Sprint and Dynamics Inc. announced the world’s first battery-powered “connected” payment card at CES in Las Vegas. The card is a “smart card” similar to Edge Card and SWYP, meaning you can load your bank’s debit, credit, prepaid, multicurrency, one-time use and loyalty cards onto a single card.
The product, dubbed Wallet Card, features a small display that shows card numbers, announcements and other information. It has a built-in self-charging battery, programmable magnetic strip, EMV chip and contactless chip.
The first major benefit of this new technology is that you’ll be carrying a lot less of plastic (or metal) in your wallet. With the push of a button you can switch between different cards, with the information being displayed on the card’s screen in real time.
Wallet Card has the potential to combat fraud in much quicker and more efficient ways than before. Via a cell phone chip inside Wallet Card, banks can instantly send a message to the card (anywhere where there’s a cell connection) asking the user if a recent transaction was made by them or not. The user can select “not me” which will alert the bank that their is indeed something wrong.
Banks will have the power to instantly delete an old credit card number and issue a new one on the spot to Wallet Card, eliminating the need to wait a week for a replacement.
If you physically lose your card, banks will have the ability to issue a new card from retail locations or other centers instantly — instead of having to print one up and mail it from a far-off factory. Once you get your card, you’ll be able to securely download all your information onto the new card. Users can also opt in for coupons or other alerts that can be sent to their Wallet Card.
Unlike other “smart cards” that allow you to load up different banks credit and debit cards onto one device, this card would actually be issued by a bank itself. So we may see a Wallet Card with Chase or Citi branding — although unfortunately you won’t be able to load multiple different issuers cards’ onto one Wallet Card, a Dynamics spokesperson told TPG. Past smart cards have a history of finicky technology and going bust, like Coin and Stratos.
So far Wallet Card has partnered with non-US banks, including Canada’s CIBC, Emirates NBD, India’s IndusInd and Japan’s Sumitomo. It also has the support of the Visa and Mastercard payment networks, according to VentureBeat. The company didn’t say when the cards will be commercially available but a Dynamics spokesperson told The Verge that they will “be issued to bank customers hopefully later this year.”
Dynamics has issued less sophisticated smart cards that have been used by Tim Horton’s, the Upper Deck Company and CIBC. The Wallet Card received the Best of Innovation for Security Technologies at CES 2018.
Featured image courtesy of Dynamics, Inc.
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