It looks like the race to win the wallets of millions of consumers is heating up again with the emergence of Plastc, a company planning to build an all-in-one payment solution. Plastc aims to combine not only the traditional magnetic stripe cards commonly used in the US today, but also incorporate the more secure chip & PIN payment method that has been widely adopted across the world. It won't stop there, however, as Plastc also brags about bringing NFC payments, retailer reward cards, gift cards, and even contactless access keys to the device. The company states the device will start shipping 2015 and you can currently pre-order one for $155 through their website.
Once bitten, twice shy for me, however. After being one of those people lied to and left out in the cold from the folks at Coin, I'll wait for competing card Plastc to come to market this time around. I have to say, though, if the people at Plastc can deliver on only one of the theoretical promises made by their promotional video (card recharging, chip & PIN, or 20-card storage capacity) they will have a significant edge over Coin.
Coin, which is currently in beta testing, can only hold 8 cards, has an 85% success rate being swiped at card readers, will have a dead, non-changeable battery in 2 years, and is slated for a release in Spring 2015. That's just in time for the entire US market to move to chip & PIN through forced adoption by government law which goes into effect October 2015. Oh, and the Spring 2015 estimated ship date from Coin for consumers is after the failed delivery of Coin by "end of summer 2014" which was repeatedly promised by the Coin company until the waning days of August, when the improvised backup plan of Coin Beta was announced.
I'm hoping Plastc will be able to deliver on their promises. I'm also getting a sense of déjà vu since I was hearing this same song and dance from Coin about a year ago. However, I am interested to see how Plastc will play out against current NFC payments on Android devices and Apple's upcoming Apple Pay, which is due to become active on latest model iPhones this month. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments down below or on one of the many social networks.