The Latest Smart Wallet Fits in Your Pocket, Not Your Phone
The term "smart wallet" usually infers technology that stores one or more credit cards on your smart phone so you can use your phone to pay for things. But what if you don't have a smart phone? Does that mean that technology is off limits to you?
NXT-ID doesn't think so. It's developed a new product called Wocket, which is a physical electronic wallet that allows you to cut back on the number of cards you carry around, yet, it doesn't rely on cellular service in order to function.
The Wocket is a smart device that can hold up to 10,000 debit, credit, ATM and loyalty cards. It can also store coupons, gift cards, tickets, contacts, membership information and insurance data. It can even store information from your driver's license--although it can't store the picture on the ID. It comes with a WocketCard, which is what you use to make payments in stores. You can also get various accessories for your Wocket that allow you to carry cash and other items you'd normally keep in a wallet.
Although it's been in the works for a while and made a splash in the press last year, NXT-ID just debuted the device and some of its prototype accessories at this month's International Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas.
"Most consumers are familiar with the anxiety of losing a wallet filled with their cards, coupons and personal information," said Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID, in a statement. "People connect with all the negative implications of this information being in the wrong hands. We are thrilled to officially unveil the Wocket smart wallet at CES, the leading global forum for technology innovation that can truly revolutionize consumers' lives. With Wocket, consumers finally have a convenient, attractive and secure modern solution to replace their wallet entirely, and never again need to endure the risks of carrying a traditional wallet."
Wocket's size depends on the accessories you get with it, but the smallest version is slightly larger--and much thicker--than a credit card. It comes with a card reader that you swipe all of your cards through in order to load them on the device's tamper-proof chip. You can also upload the data onto Wocket manually. To protect all of this information, the device encrypts it. To be able to retrieve that information, the user must give a biometric voice print before Wocket can function.
To use the device, you can select the card you wish to use on the device's touch screen, then you take the WocketCard out of the device and it will display information from the card you select, including your name, signature, the last four digits of the card and its security code. You use the WocketCard like any other credit card with a magnetic stripe. Once you're finished with your purchase, the information on the WocketCard zeroes out, which prevents people from skimming that information.
Wocket can read barcodes, QR codes and magnetic stripes. If you have an EMV chip card, it will work with Wocket as long as the card also contains a magnetic stripe. NXT-ID also is also working on supporting Bluetooth payments. While it can communicate with a smartphone via an app, you don't need to have your phone to operate it, unlike other smart wallet and credit card consolidation products.
The device isn't yet on the market, but it will come in a variety of colors and materials. The pre-order option, which is no longer available, cost $149.99. Now you need an invitation to be able to purchase Wocket, which you can request through the product's website.