Dynamics and Sprint unveiled the first battery-powered, “connected” payment card at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The Verge reports that this new card is called the Wallet Card and Sprint promises that it has several perks a regular credit card doesn’t have. Although it’s being called a “world’s first”, we have seen similar cards in the past and none of them have really caught up and most never made it to market.
The Wallet Card is the same size and shape as a normal credit card, but it has almost 200 internal parts including a cellphone chip and antenna, a battery and organic recharging chip for self-charging, a programmable magnetic strip, EMV chip, and a contact-less chip. New card profiles can be downloaded onto the Wallet Card, and the card’s magnetic strip, EMV, and contact-less chip can all be programmed to present this new data. The Wallet Card also comes with a 65,000-pixel display and UI which shows the logo and all information of the stored card.
Sprint promises that this car has several perks that regular credit cards doesn’t have. Maybe some of these features will set them apart from similar cards that have failed in the past. Since the Wallet Card is a connected digital card, banks can distribute the card anywhere at any time, and users can activate it at once. Also cards can be replaced quickly if a new one is issued for any reason. Messages can also be sent to the Wallet Card directly to tell a user about transactions, to receive coupons, or fraud alerts.
Key Wallet Card Benefits
- Fastest data breach response and replacement – If a data compromise occurs at a merchant, the bank can instantly delete the compromised card account number and replace it immediately with a new card and new account number. This provides peace of mind and reduced fraud risk for the consumer with a new card.
- Multiple cards in one – With the Wallet Card, consumers can access their debit, credit, pre-paid, multicurrency, one-time use, or loyalty cards on a single card with the tap of a button.
- Anywhere distribution – Wallet Card is the first instant, digital card platform. Banks can distribute Wallet Card anywhere and at any time – such as in their retail branches, during events or even in-flight and consumers can activate it immediately. Card information can then be downloaded through a secure, over-the-air cellular connection.
- Rapid card replacement – Each year, hundreds of millions of consumers lose their card or have it stolen. With regional Wallet Card fulfillment, a new card can be couriered directly to the consumer within hours. The consumer can then instantly restore their wallet by downloading their cards.
- Tighter connections between consumers, issuers and retailers – Messages can be sent to the Wallet Card at any time. For example, after every purchase, a message may be sent to notify the consumer of the purchase and their remaining balance if they used a debit or loyalty card. Consumers can also opt-in to receive coupons directly on their cards or be notified of a suspicious purchase and click on “not me” to have a fraud alert set and new card number issued. In another example, a coupon may be sent to the consumer.
The Wallet Card could be issued to bank customers later this year, but an exact launch date will be up to the current partner banks, Emirates NBD, Japan’s Sumitomo, Canada’s CIBC, and India’s IndusInd. Even if this card actually becomes available to consumers, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had the same fate of previous all in one cards. This new card does a have a “cool” effect with all the features being offered and especially the small screen on the lower right corner, but most people already use one or more mobile wallets already that provide the same service.
Would you use such a product? Chime in.