Back in the day, you used to be allowed to smoke on commercial airlines. You used to be allowed to spank your children and it was socially acceptable to rent a movie from Blockbuster. Times have changed though. That world is long gone. A handful of angry bearded men have a grudge with us using social media, taking selfies and advocating democracy. So they got hold of couple of sticks of dynamite, got on a plane and since then, the government has a perfect excuse to stick their figures up your backside, look at all the embarrassing selfies on your phone and rummage around your hand luggage.
It’s not only air travel that has changed though. In the good old days, people got a job and went to work. This was all far too boring though. So in a very peculiar way, the vast majority of countries in the European Union decided that it would be best if they sat under an olive tree all day and let the Germans do all the work.
We could go on and on, but the point is clear. The world we knew is long gone. This is 2015 and there are new ideas and concepts we need to get used to. Some good, others not so much. One of the major changes of 2015 is going to be payment devices. The day of the traditional credit cards are numbered.
So to give you a head start, we’ve looked into four of the most promising and exciting credit cards of the future!
Stratos was founded way back in 2012. The founding team wisely decided to raise capital from venture capitalists rather than using Kickstarter style crowd funding. This allowed them to fly under the radar and work on the project in relative secrecy.
So what does the Stratos card bring to the table? The card comes with a magnetic strip reader that plugs into your phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack. Using the provided hardware in combination with the Stratos app, you can easily load your cards to add them to the Stratos system. You can assign up to three cards to your new Stratos smart card, whilst the rest of your cards can be accessed from your phone using the Stratos app.
When you need to use your card, you simply tap one of the buttons on your Stratos card and this automatically loads the card you assigned to that particular button. Once you have selected the relevant card (be it from the Stratos buttons or from the Stratos app) you can then simply swipe your Stratos card just like a normal credit card.
And the cost for all this high tech goodness? $95 a year or $149 a year for two cards.
Final takes a different approach (that we shared in a profile on the company). Rather than focusing specifically on the card itself, Final takes a broader look and tries to revolutionise the entire concept of the credit card.
The genius behind Final is that it gives you a unique credit card number for each merchant, or a disposable number for one-off purchases. It gets better though. Since each merchant has his own unique number, you can limit each merchant or subscription to a set monthly amount. If the merchant attempts to go over the set limit, you receive a push notification on your phone, keeping you in the loop. This allows you to act immediately whether it’s a hack or a simply a dishonest merchant.
So the next time you hear about a big credit card breach at Target you can relax. Final eliminates the hassle associated with a cancelled card, fraud, or theft. You don’t need to waste time re-establishing your payment relationships or constantly checking your statements. You simply cancel the number associated with the specific merchant that’s been compromised and continue as normal.
Coin is similar to Stratos as in they focus on the card itself. Setting up Coin involves using your phone and the Coin app. The really cool thing about Coin is that Coin doesn’t just work with credit cards, it work with everything – debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and membership cards.
The Coin looks just like a regular credit card but stores the data from as many as eight cards. The real advantage Coin offers over Stratos and Final is that the Coin card has a small E Ink screen that displays the selected cards information such as expiration dates and the last four digits of your credit cards number. There is also a single button on the Coin card that is used to cycle through the cards stored on the device. So it’s not just a screen, it’s a screen that you can use.
The cost for all this modern convenience? Coin is priced at $100.
Plastc. Yeah, Plastc. That’s not a spelling mistake. Plastc is arguably the coolest of the bunch. Plastc syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to easily swipe between no less that 20 cards or barcodes using an E-ink touchscreen.
Plastc supports a vast number of technologies. NFC (the tech Apple uses for Apple pay), EMV and RFID so you can even load your office key card or parking lot chip. That’s a whole lot of acronyms, even if you have no idea what they mean, you’ve got to admit that it all sounds mighty impressive.
The card will last up to 30 days between charges and you can charge it up with a charging pad when needed.
And what about security? Plastc includes multiple security measures to keep you and your money safe. There is a PIN code that needs to be inputed on the E-ink screen, a requirement that only allows cards under your name to be added, and finally, there’s a remote wipe mode feature. Remote wipe allows you to wipe your card when it’s lost.
What else can Plastc do for you? It can show you the real time balance of each card on its E-ink screen. This allows you to quickly check your balance before each purchase.
The cost? $155