Another vendor, Card1, has joined the ranks of all-in-one payment card makers, but with a slightly different approach. Where most rivals focus on hardware, Card1 is betting big on the cloud.
Products like Wocket, Plastc, Coin, Swyp, Stratos, Dynamics use a card or other device that can be rewritten with two or more accounts. Consumer-facing products are typically managed through an app, with some cards having a built-in screen for direct interaction.
Card1's emphasis on the cloud means it puts less proprietary hardware in the hands of consumers. But this also means that its technology requires an Internet connection from the user's smartphone to load a new card account.
The startup states this dependence on a mobile app is a differentiator. It adds security and authentication for every transaction, said Card1 spokesperson Stephen Sprayberry. In an area with no wireless access or if the mobile phone out of power, the fallback is a setting for phone-less transactions up to a certain user-selected value. But when that option is chosen (and it must be chosen ahead of time), the additional security of the mobile verification is gone.
On Sept. 21, Card1 announced that it is trying to raise funds via an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, with an eye on launching next year.
One of the arguments from all of the all-in-one payment players is that these cards can add security to magnetic-stripe cards, which will still be widespread even during the U.S. market's slow march to EMV-chip card payments and Near Field Communication-based mobile wallets.
Part of Card1's model is a text alert that gives shoppers a heads-up when transactions are being attempted. giving the consumer to ability to flag a bogus charge in real time.
"In securing transactions, Card1 will employ cutting-edge behavioral analytics, tokenization and identity authentication software and best practices to deter fraud. Card1 will also give consumers the ability to authorize each card payment, which is a valuable tool to prevent online fraudulent transactions, which EMV chip cards have no mechanism to deter," the Card1 statement said.
"Card1 will also offer a frictionless security feature that authorizes card transactions only when the phone and store location match."