According to the 2014 Stratos Annual Connected Card Consumer Quantitative Survey, more than 75 percent of consumers are interested in paying with an all-in-one connected card. With this in mind, numerous players are developing proximity based wirelessly connected cards that are hoping to replace the plastic cards we use on daily basis. Some popular examples include Stratos, Coin and Plastc. Stratos and Coin recently started shipping to consumers. Let’s see how they fare against each other, and who can win as they go head-to-head in the market:
> This bluetooth connected card is basically a consolidation of all kinds of plastic cards that one typically uses.
> Different types of cards ranging from credit, debit, and loyalty, to membership and gift cards can be loaded onto Stratos. The Stratos Card can emulate the type of plastic card that you wish to use.
> Stratos Card is compatible with all forms of merchant infrastructure, meaning the card can easily be used at ATMs, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, etc.
> It employs a patented Security Lock-Down feature that allows cardholders to shut down the card if it is not within the proximity of the synced phone for a specific amount of time.
> Stratos’ other security features include bank-level encryption with card details being stored protected by a PIN or Touch ID.
> The card comes paired with a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android, and a card reader as well. The app centralizes, tracks and manages all the cards while the reader can be used to load the cards. The app sends real-time notifications directly to the lock screen.
> Stratos will provide annual upgrades so that the latest technologies can be incorporated.
> Stratos will be revealing more features in the near future that will include geo-location based recommendations, virtual card downloads, EMV contactless and card tokenization.
> The card is waterproof and is resistant against bend, static shock, abrasion tests, etc.
Stratos Card began shipping this month. You can reserve one now for $95.
Here is a video illustration highlighting the card:
> This bluetooth connected card lets the user integrate all kinds of debit, credit and loyalty cards into itself.
> Once the card is synced with the dedicated Coin app, users are prompted to create a unique six-digit tap code. This particular code is a combination of long and short taps.
> New cards can be added either by manually entering the information, using a dedicated card reader or taking a picture of the card.
> Coin employs a 128-bit encryption layer for bluetooth that helps avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.
> Bluetooth is used to implement the Lock-and-Find feature. If the owner of the card is not within the proximity of the card at the time of transaction, then the card locks itself.
> Coin card remains locked when not in use. The card needs to be within proximity of the synced phone in order to unlock itself. If the phone is out of the network zone, then the card can be unlocked by entering the PIN.
> 8 cards can be stored onto Coin at a single time.
> Coin has yet to receive the PCI (payment card industry) compliance certification.
> The company is working on a Coin product that will include EMV technology as well.
Coin started shipping a few days ago. You can order one now for $100.
Here is a video illustration highlighting the product:
There are some advantages we feel Stratos has over Coin:
> It can support even basic plastic cards, such as transit or metro ATM.
> It is PCI-DSS compliant.
> Will incorporate tokenization, contactless support and more location based features in the near future.