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  • iOS-Connected Smart Payment Card, Plastc, Unveiled Prior to the Release of Apple Pay


    For those of you who are still not convinced of Apple’s mobile payments solution, Apple Pay, alternatives such as Coin and its competitor, Plastc, might have been on your radar. Plastc recently unveiled a new, iOS-connected smart payment card that comes packed with several new innovative features including programmable NFC and RFID. Much like its competitor, Coin, the Plastc Card uses a reprogrammable magnetic strip that imitates existing credit and debit cards. One thing the card does better is going a step further adding NFC, RDI and chip-and-PIN capabilities, a feature which Coin doesn’t offer as of right now.

    Consumers can load virtually any other card into Plastc via the companion Plastc Wallet app and a low-energy Bluetooth connection. Furthermore, the device can also imitate utility cards such as RFID-based building access cards in addition to payment cards. A built in e-ink touchscreen is used to choose a card and can even display barcodes. This makes Plastc more useful for those who frequently take advantage of loyalty rewards programs that use a small barcode-based card. It should be noted that the touchscreen serves another purpose as well – it helps to improve security by allowing users to lock Plastc with a pincode. It can also be used to display the owner’s signature and Photo ID.

    One thing to keep in mind here is that this extra functionality does come at a price – it suffers from a lower battery life. The company tries to maximize the battery life by using a light sensor to “turn off” while the card sits in a wallet. Plastc as a result will last users for about one month before they have to recharge using the built-in wireless system, Coin on the other hand lasts for up to one year before needing a recharge.

    Those of you interested in purchasing Plastc can pre-order it from their website for $155. Shipping on the product is set to begin in summer of 2015 so you still have a bit of wait time.

    Source: Plastc via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iOS-Connected Smart Payment Card, Plastc, Unveiled Prior to the Release of Apple Pay started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Never heard of this before... Quite interesting how it works actually.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Well at least the plastc is rechargeable. As far as the coin card, it does last a year, but then you have to buy another one again. Unless something has changed. These are nice ideas, but will still pass for that kind of price. Also how much is the charger, or that included?
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
      Well at least the plastc is rechargeable. As far as the coin card, it does last a year, but then you have to buy another one again. Unless something has changed. These are nice ideas, but will still pass for that kind of price. Also how much is the charger, or that included?
      At that price, it better be included. I'm so glad I didn't preorder the coin when it first was announced... It takes so long for it to actually become available, that something else, usually better, is bound to come on the market...

      Same thing with this thing... Summer of 2015? Guaranteed there will be yet another competitor, with a better product, by then... And if they make the same mistake of waiting a freakin year before launch, they too will likely become obsolete...
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      So this is all over Bluetooth? Then what happens when say you go out to eat with friends or family and you wanna pay with your card but the cashier is at the other end of the building wouldn't it loose it's signal/connection so you would have to get up and actually go and pay at the cashier each time well unless your sitting super close of corse.
    1. JoRocK's Avatar
      JoRocK -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
      Never heard of this before... Quite interesting how it works actually.
      It's a scam! COIN was set to release this summer and all theyre doing is giving people the run around. People that pre-ordered are all cramming for a refund with no avail... SCAM I tell ya
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Here's my idea... but a lower model version of it [emoji20]

      Patents suck....
    1. docmagoo2's Avatar
      docmagoo2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeroskater61 View Post
      So this is all over Bluetooth? Then what happens when say you go out to eat with friends or family and you wanna pay with your card but the cashier is at the other end of the building wouldn't it loose it's signal/connection so you would have to get up and actually go and pay at the cashier each time well unless your sitting super close of corse.
      I think the article means it connects to your idevice via Bluetooth to program it. The actual payments are via NFC, chip and pin etc
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      this looks awesome, but I'm in the camp that says by the time it gets to market, it may already be obsolete.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      I remember talking about these kind of “smartcards” that can mimic multiple cards back in college in 1999 in one of my computer programming classes. Funny how it’s only now starting to see the light of day.

      So I guess this is the workaround for using Apple Pay in places like restaurants or drive-thrus? Does it still transmit a one-time code or your actual account information? If it’s a one-time code I guess you would have to program it for the payment amount every time. But it sounds more like it uses your actual account #, which would make it a dangerous thing to use and highly sought after by criminals if it will hold multiple account details.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      I know nothing about how this thing works so I must ask, how difficult is it to use this for fraud?
      'Borrow' someone's credit card or building access card, duplicate it and return it to them and use the Plastc card to now access whatever it was you 'borrowed'? Should that be a concern?
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by quidam_brujah View Post
      I know nothing about how this thing works so I must ask, how difficult is it to use this for fraud?
      'Borrow' someone's credit card or building access card, duplicate it and return it to them and use the Plastc card to now access whatever it was you 'borrowed'? Should that be a concern?
      Well, I mean, if you let someone borrow your credit card, couldn't they just write the info (number and exp date and 3 or 4 digit security code) down and use it online wherever they want?

      I can't imagine letting someone just "borrow" one of my credit cards. If I did, I almost deserve to be defrauded.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by novadam View Post
      Well, I mean, if you let someone borrow your credit card, couldn't they just write the info (number and exp date and 3 or 4 digit security code) down and use it online wherever they want?

      I can't imagine letting someone just "borrow" one of my credit cards. If I did, I almost deserve to be defrauded.
      Perhaps a more pertinent question is what keeps a waiter from accruing a vast collection of cards on the Plastc. I personally know someone who got their credit card info stolen by a waiter.
    1. RandyTG's Avatar
      RandyTG -
      Quote Originally Posted by quidam_brujah View Post
      I know nothing about how this thing works so I must ask, how difficult is it to use this for fraud?
      'Borrow' someone's credit card or building access card, duplicate it and return it to them and use the Plastc card to now access whatever it was you 'borrowed'? Should that be a concern?
      This and Coin are both replacements for your physical credit and store cards. They use a magnetic strip just like credit cards. The advantage is to have all of your cards on a single physical card versus carrying them all with you; less bulk in your wallet or pocket. Credit cards and be easily duplicated by people with the tools to do so. Plastc and Coin both can lock when not in proximity to your designated phone so if someone "borrows" your card it will stop working after a preset period. Plastc has a PIN for security so nobody can read the card as the NFC and magnetic strip are off by default until you select a card to use and with Coin it is the same (minus the PIN) until you select a card to use. So they are safer than your individual credit cards. If you lose either a Coin or Plastc then they are useless to the person that finds them, whereas you credit card is live to the person who finds it until you cancel it.

      Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
      Perhaps a more pertinent question is what keeps a waiter from accruing a vast collection of cards on the Plastc. I personally know someone who got their credit card info stolen by a waiter.
      The card you selected to use for your purchase is "locked in" so that is the only card information that can be used or accessed by anyone at that time. If the waiter takes the card then after the preset timeout, the entire card is locked and then useless until it is returned to you.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Edit: answered
    1. adsn76's Avatar
      adsn76 -
      I believe after you enter the card info into the phone to transfer to the Cion/Plastc it verifies the card info with your info to validate it.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      A truly safe experience using these methods would be to NOT store any personal info on the actual card. Instead, the card should be an extension of the phone. If the card is lost, no data can somehow be hacked. The card should only be able to be active if it's by your phone.

      The downside to this is starting a tab at a bar or paying a waiter while you're dining out.

      Again, if you really want to be safe, the above would be the better solution.
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
      Perhaps a more pertinent question is what keeps a waiter from accruing a vast collection of cards on the Plastc. I personally know someone who got their credit card info stolen by a waiter.
      True (although I guess that was answered above). But same goes for a normal card, I think (as you point out, it happens).

      Given the answer above, seems like the Plastc has less inherent risk than using the bank-issued card.

      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      A truly safe experience using these methods would be to NOT store any personal info on the actual card. Instead, the card should be an extension of the phone. If the card is lost, no data can somehow be hacked. The card should only be able to be active if it's by your phone.

      The downside to this is starting a tab at a bar or paying a waiter while you're dining out.

      Again, if you really want to be safe, the above would be the better solution.
      From what I get from the video on the Plastc site, if it's not near your phone, it locks down and then deletes all info until re-synched with your phone.