Edge works to rebuild the all-in-one card market

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The idea of consolidating multiple payment cards into one with smart technology has been attempted multiple times in recent years with little success, but a startup called Edge Mobile Payments is giving it a fresh try.

Leveraging “dynamic” smart card technology like some before it, the Edge Card enables users to load all of their credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards and make payments anywhere, whether the terminal requires swiping, dipping or tapping, according to a report in The Verge.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company initially unveiled plans to develop the card in February, and in the ensuing months it made a connection to two all-in-one card concepts that fizzled—Plastc and Coin—promising discounts to those companies’ former customers if they sign up for Edge, according to its website.

Plastc filed for bankruptcy and Coin ceased to exist after Fitbit acquired the company’s assets, foreshadowing challenges Edge will face entering a crowded payments marketplace with flexible new mobile and virtual payments technology, including wearables, gaining attention.

Edge plans to develop and ship a card next year that will feature a two-inch interactive “ePaper” screen enabling users to toggle between cards loaded to the card, which will support magnetic stripe, EMV and Near Field Communication-enabled cards, pending approval from the major card networks. The card requires a built-in low-power battery, according to a September press release.

Users will load cards to Edge via a companion mobile app which includes digital receipt storage and a tool suggesting which card to use for purchases at any given moment, given the user’s credit score plus available interest rates and promotions.

“The new screen is the largest screen to be attempted on any dynamic smart card to date and the first one with color,” said Peter Garrett, CEO, in the release.

Edge is working with Nuvation Engineering to develop the product, which has been through several revisions since early this year, the release said.

Funding for the project comes from private equity and individual investors instead of pre-orders, Edge noted on its website.

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