At this year’s CES event, the US card manufacturer Dynamics and mobile carrier Sprint announced a partnership on crafting a new connected payment card. This display card with a built-in E-ink screen embeds a chip and an antenna. For this new product, they claim enhanced security, instant issuing processes, and card-based contextual display.
The card called “Wallet Card” works like a wallet enabling the users to store several cards (debit, credit, prepaid, multi-currency and loyalty cards). It can be configured according to the cardholder’s needs. A 65,000 pixels screen allows him to easily switch cards and profiles, be sent alerts, and display information including the transactions he made during the day.
The cell phone antenna makes it possible for banking information to be sent between the card and the customer’s bank at any moment and anywhere in the world. The storage feature also allows the cardholder to access all his cards through his connected card, at the press of a button.
It also makes it easier for the bank to block or activate cards: in case of loss or theft, they may reconfigure the Wallet Card providing it with a new card number.
Comment – Hardware-based cards for tomorrow
M-banking services have been flourishing, however, unlike what might have been expected, mass adoption hasn’t yet happened for mobile payment. According to Dynamics, the future for payments should not solely rely on mobile devices, and time needs to be spent on designing next-generation payment cards. Several moves have been announced, including Oberthur’s Motion Code, or Gemalto’s contactless card. Other companies, such as Curve and Max, proposed solutions intended to gather all cards in just one medium, through linking them from a mobile app.
The US start-up relies on hardware as they intend their Wallet Card to be an endlessly configurable purse. They expect to lead the way with a hybrid alternative to both typical card offers and mobile wallet apps. This choice imposes much higher manufacturing costs, which might affect their adoption levels. Nonetheless, Dynamics bets on their card’s autonomy, as it builds in all required technologies to avoid frictions. They also introduced their “Wallet Card Consortium”, aimed at improving payment features and data security. This consortium includes members such as Visa, Mastercard, Sprint and JCB.