We stuff our wallets with credit cards, loyalty cards and memberships. But what if we could compile all our credit cards together into one universal card with the help of a mobile app? To most this probably sounds like a security nightmare, but it is actually quite interesting.
A new mobile app called Geode turns your mobile device into a digital wallet. The mobile app stores all your different credit cards, and with a simple tap you can access the card you want. Since most card scanners can’t read bar-codes from your phone, there is a physical plastic Geode card that can act as any of your credit cards depending on what you’ve selected on the mobile app.
While the concept is neat, Geode also seems very complicated and accident-prone. Jay Donovan of TechCrunch performed an in-the-wild test on the mobile app and Geode card. Here’s what he found:
“Does it work everywhere? Unfortunately, not everywhere I tried could accept the card. The two self-service gas stations where I attempted to use it would not accept it. During a quick call with the makers, iCache Chief Strategy Officer Erik Ross explained that there is a known issue with dip-style credit card readers (the kind you insert and pull out manually) and that they are working on getting the GeoCard to work with them.
Another thing is that you have to remember to “flick” the card with your fingers to activate it, after you have loaded it with your card info but before swiping it. It’s kind of a hassle, but it’s not for arbitrary reasons and rather is how the battery life in the card is conserved — it’s not activated until flicked. According to iCache, a new version of the GeoCard will be coming soon that is rechargeable.
As for how the big card networks allow this dynamic card to be used on their networks…I’m not completely sure. But apparently iCache is being treated like any other issuer and as long as the card meets size, security and operational rules (which it must be doing), it sounds like it is good to go.”
Looks like there’s a few in-the-wild functional and usability issues the developers of Geode will have to iron out.
What do you think of these mobile wallet apps? Would you consider using one? Let us know in the comments section.