We recently featured Coin, a US break-out idea that allows you to carry all your credit cards in a single piece of plastic. The idea is that Coin contains all the details of all your credit cards on its internal memory. At the point of sale, you choose which card you want to use, and Coin automatically programmes the magnetic strip on the credit card-sized device to reflect this card’s details.
They said that the finished project – despite being well funded – is quite some time away, and most of us thought that would be the end of that for at least another twelve months or so.
Now, a Chinese start-up company has come along with a similar plan, which they say is only a matter of months from launch.
It’s called OneCard, and they’ve set up a stylish crowd-funding website. My Chinese isn’t that great, but it’s clear that the project is proving immensely popular with investors, and they are now already more than seven times over-subscribed.
Once again, it’s a credit card-sized device that can be pre-loaded with the details of your entire portfolio of cards. What makes OneCard different is that it comes not only with a re-programmable magnetic strip, but also a credit card chip that allows it to be read in any type of card reader around the world.
It’s 3.7mm thick at its thickest, and we’re not entirely certain if this will be a problem with modern chip-reading devices. We’re going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, as they appear to know what they’re doing! At it’s thinnest, it’s a mere 0.75mm thick, which is where the magnetic strip is housed, posing no problem for current card readers.
OneCard is an exciting prospect, and the concept images are beautiful. Our only real concerns about devices such as these is whether people will feel comfortable carrying their entire financial portfolio on one device; and whether it will be robust enough to survive a lifetime in somebody’s wallet. After a year or so in my pocket, some cards are wrecked… so good luck, OneCard.
Article by Jason Taylor – [email protected]