Mobile payments have been technologically feasible for a number of years, but systems like Google Wallet have yet to take off. Apple is giving it a shot with Apple Pay in the coming months, but most shops and restaurants still expect you to hand over a physical piece of plastic with a magnetic stripe. How primitive. Plastc is an attempt to put all your cards in a single device that functions (and looks) like a real credit card. It seems pretty science fictional, but the creators say it’s coming in summer 2015.
Plastc isn’t the first device to cram all your cards into a single piece of tech designed to look like a credit card (Coin comes to mind), but this device has a surprising number of features. On the front is an E Ink display with a touch interface. Simply swipe to find the card you want to use, and tap to select. The magnetic stripe on the back then reads as the selected card, and your photo and signature even pops up on the E Ink screen to prove you are who you claim to be.
Because there’s an actual display on Plastc, it can also be used to show the barcodes for gift and loyalty cards. If you are at one of the select retailers with contactless payment systems, you can use Plastc to make NFC payments. it also locks itself down after each use, so you need to enter a PIN on the screen to unlock it. If you leave it behind, Plastc goes into recovery mode and clears its local memory. You can get the gist from the (slightly ridiculous) promo video below.
The company claims Plastc is only 0.8mm thick and flexible, which seems unfathomable. It does require charging, but that happens wirelessly–presumably through Qi or a similar standard. Entering card data on the device is done with a paired phone and a special card reader that plugs into it.
I for one love this idea, I think its great and can’t wait for it to fully become available.
For more information on Plastc card, visit their web page Plastc