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What Smart Card Should You Buy

Smart Card

A smart card or all-in-one card hold all your loyalty, reward, debit and even credit cards in one card. They have been announced for years and consumers are starting to pay attention. The purpose is to help reduce bulk in wallets.

Most of these cards are still in testing phases and are available for pre-order. More and more competitors are entering the market but let’s take a look at some of the suppliers. Physical cards are uploaded by a card reader that is supplied along with the card. It is then uploaded to the cards application where you can view the various cards. The companies promise that no confidential data is stored on servers.

All of the cards also have a feature to lock itself if the cell phone is not near the card. It is connected with a Bluetooth frequency and locks itself if you leave it behind. A notification will pop on your screen to tell you that you left your card. If you lose your card – none of your information is accessible

hey are competing for market share and are up against mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. All of them promise to reduce bulk in the wallet or even get rid of it completely.

Coin Card

Coin card is one of the first and oldest ones on the market. On the website, it claims to have shipped over 250,000 cards and is currently sold out. This is one of the cards that I was planning on order but never got around to it. They had preorders at $50 and then raised the price to $124 at launch. Currently, it is priced at $99 but you won’t be able to order it yet.

What makes the Coin different is that it currently has a clean design and only one button. By clicking on the button, you can access different cards for a total of 8 cards.

The Coin 2.0 smart card has NFC built in and works a lot better than the first generation card. It is reported that it is less glitchy and has positive feedback on the bigger e-ink screen. The company has also added a nickname feature instead of remembering your last 4 digits of your card.

The new card is also EMV compliant which was made mandatory by card companies and terminals to be updated with an October 1st, 2015 deadline. This is due to the increase in fraud cases with credit cards and debit cards.

Plastc

The Plastc card front display is made from an e-ink display (similar to e-readers) and allows you to swipe between 20 stores cards. The larger display is also a feature that is useful when you have loyalty or gift cards that require scanning a bar code. The Plastc card auto populates these barcodes that merchants can scan.

The card, similar to the Coin, ships with EMV chip technology and NFC for contactless payments. The only different is that this has RFID so it can replace your office building ID card. The Plastc is charged by placing it on a mat and can last 30 days on a single charge.

Pre-orders are available for $155 and include a free subscription and two-year warranty. After pre-orders are over, the card will retail for $180 and will only include an 18-month subscription. The cost of service after the 18 months will be $50/year.

Stratos

Stratos CEO has currently sold the company to Ciright One LLC ( a company that provides similar services) in order to keep the smart credit card alive. Regardless, all Stratos are being fulfilled by the new parent company and support for the product will continue.

The card currently doesn’t offer pre-orders at the moment but the costs were $100 for a yearly subscription and sends you a card every year. No need to worry about the card not working or running out a battery.

The card itself has a matte finished and comes in various colors. On the front, it has no buttons but a blinking light that is activated when you tap the card 2 times. This is a little confusing if you hand your card over to the bartender or server, they probably wouldn’t know what to do.

SWYP

The SWYP card is one of the latest smart cards to hit the market. This is the only card that is made out of metal and has a small front display and a pair of buttons on the side (going to be touchless once it officially gets released).

The card is deactivated if you are 6 feet away from your cell phone and there is a way to overwrite this if you are paying a restaurant bill. The charger is also rechargeable but the company hasn’t released how this charging will work.

This is probably one of the cheaper cards considering the metal design. Preorders started at $49 each but are currently $79 for pre-order. The retail price is going to be $99 once the launch. The second batch of SWYP cards is expected to ship out early Summer 2016.

Our Pick

We would have to say that the Plastc card has the most features and offers the most for an everyday customer. Even though we like the Swyp card and would probably buy one of each, we can’t wait to get my hands on the Plastc card. The e-ink display looks neat and being able to store barcodes is a plus for me.we don’t understand why they would introduce a subscription model when it releases. We just don’t get it.

The reason why we wouldn’t pick Coin is because they have gone through a lot of setbacks to enter the market and not so great reviews online. I might have to give them a try since you can actually try the product but it is currently sold out. I’ll have to keep checking up on it and seeing if it’ll come back.

Stratos card has an annual subscription model that is unappealing to me. I don’t want to pay for a credit card subscription when my bank already charges me $120/year. Stack that on top of another $100, We don’t think it is worth it.

All price of pre-orders is quoted in USD and some need to be delivered in the United States. An easy solution to this would be to use ReShip to save tax and get it delivered to you.

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