Imagine having just one card in your wallet, which would contain every credit card, loyalty card and gift card you own. The Palo Alto-based financial tech startup Plastc says they’ll make that a reality, starting next summer.
The Plastc Card, which is available for preorder now for $155 and slated to ship in summer 2015, will work in concert with a smartphone app and consolidate all types of payment cards into one card. Up to 20 credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, and coupons can all be uploaded to the Plastc app and stored on the member’s linked Plastc Card. The card can be used to pay at any point-of-sale terminal that accepts credit cards.
The card will have chip and PIN and near-field communications (NFC) capability, making it compatible with EMV payment terminals. Mark Stubbs, CEO and co-founder of Plastc, said the card is designed to work with payment systems of the future as well as current magnetic-strip technology. “The user doesn’t have to worry about future payment systems,” he said.
Features of the Plastc Card will include:
- Touchscreen with E-ink technology. Customers can change the appearance of the card by tapping and swiping the touchscreen, turning it from a credit card to a rewards card. Users can also view account information including balances and available credit on the card.
- Rewriteable magnetic stripe. When customers select the card they wish to use, the card’s magnetic stripe will change so that the card reader will pick up the selected payment information. When no card is selected, the magnetic stripe is disabled, preventing fraudulent use.
- Rewriteable NFC/RFID technology. The card’s radio frequency ID (RFID) and NFC capabilities only send out a signal when a card is selected, so the user’s data is safe when the card isn’t in use.
- Barcode capability. The touchscreen will also display barcodes, so store loyalty cards and gift cards can be used. Merchants can scan the barcode directly from the Plastc Card touchscreen.
- Bluetooth connection. The card carries low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) to connect the Plastc app with the card.
- Remote data wiping. To protect users, the Plastc Card can be wiped remotely in case of loss or theft. If the card is disconnected from its smartphone (with the connected app), data will be wiped. When the card comes within range of the phone again, information will be automatically synced so there is no need to re-enter it.
- “Return Me” mode. If the card is lost, the touchscreen will display a message asking to be returned to its owner.
The Plastc smartphone app will have facial recognition technology to keep payment information secure, as well as a 4-digit PIN and proximity alerts to tell users if their card is more than 100 feet away from their phone.
In the lead-up to product availability, Plastc is offering a “give $20, get $20” referral bonus for early adopters. If folks who pre-order the card get someone else to pre-order as well, they’ll receivea $20 Amazon gift card when the Plastc cards ship out in 2015. The person signing up will get $20 off their card.