Plastc is a new spin on old tech, and it’s extremely impressive. In a previous post about credit card technology, Plastc was mentioned but not really explained, so that’s what I plan on doing here.
The idea is, using Bluetooth, an app, and a magstripe reader, you load your existing debit & credit cards into the Plastc card, where it is stored on flash memory. The card itself uses an e-ink touchscreen with a PIN system to make sure that only you can access the information stored on it. Once you’ve unlocked the card, you select which card you would like to use, then swipe, tap, or use the EMV chip to make your payment.
In the field of security, Plastc blows traditional payment cards out of the water. If you walk to far away from the card, it automatically locks itself and alerts you on your smartphone. If you need to hand your card to somebody else for them to use, you can “lock” Plastc to the card you want to use. Plastc also comes with remote wipe incase the card gets stolen so you can guarantee there is no recoverable data from the on-board storage. The e-ink display even shows a picture of your face and signature so the merchant can verify your identity. The most impressive security measure is that the card is entirely rewriteable. This includes the magnetic strip, EMV chip, and NFC chip.
One of the most appealing things about Plastc is the first true reason to leave your cards at home. When Google Wallet launched, I thought surely I could leave my debit card at home and get by with my phone. The same thought with the launch of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Serve; the list goes on. Unfortunately each one of these services was only partly integrated with merchants and it was a gamble whether one would accept NFC payments or if the service would work with my card at all. Plastc launches with support for all card types and covers all your bases for compatibility with its three options for payments. If your wallet gets stolen or lost, you wipe one card, order a replacement, and continue using your real cards until that arrives. No more calling several banks to cancel all of your cards and waiting on each of them to send you a replacement.
Plastc is currently available for pre-order for $155 at plastc.com and the site also includes details on all the features of the card. I will definitely be grabbing one before the retail + subscription prices go up to $180 + $50/year, but even then, $50/year to ditch most of my wallet and carry just one card would be a price I’d be willing to pay.