Ben Todd | Jun 3, 2017 | 2
Swyp SmartCard And Digital Wallet Review
The Swyp is a SmartCard that will one day take the place of your credit, bank and loyalty cards. You may be accustom to the idea of a digital wallet that holds your bank and credit cards for later use, well the Swyp SmartCard acts a physical card for your digital wallet.
Some people call a SmartCard a digital credit card, but it isn’t. There is no issuing company, and no credit rating. The SmartCard may become your credit card with the click of a button. You may your credit cards, bankcards and loyalty cards onto the SmartCard, and then pick which card you wish to use, and then hand the SmartCard to the merchant to use. It will charge the card or account that you chose.
No Chip And Pin Yet
There are four types of SmartCard on the market. There is Swyp, there is Plastc, Coin, and Stratos, though the company behind Stratos has gone bust.
All three of the remaining companies are working on adding a chip and pin function, but current generation SmartCards do not have them. Current SmartCards work by swiping (like a regular credit card) and with NFC (contactless) technology like how mobile payment works. Near Field Communications (NFC) technology may be used if the merchant has the technology, otherwise, you may use the merchant’s card terminal by having your card swiped.
Paying For Your Card And Subscription
The cost of the card and the price of your subscription are so changeable that we opted to leave prices out of this article because it will probably be inaccurate by the time you read it. Nevertheless, SmartCard producers are all charging for use of the SmartCards.
The swipe technology that Swyp uses mean that it is accepted anywhere that a credit card is accepted if you were to swipe it. The digital wallet means you may use your cards online by using the Swyp service, but the company is focusing most of its efforts on the function of the card itself.
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For the record, Swyp is pronounced “Swipe” and it is only slightly thicker than a credit card. Press together three of your cards and that is roughly how thick it is.
The Small Screen On The Left Hand Side
On the left of the SmartCard is a small square display that is just a little bigger than a postage stamp. It is a rich display system that shows you details of the card you have just picked.
The display shows you the name of the card and/or the issuing company; it also shows you the type of card it is. It shows you the expiry date and the last four digits of your card. The
Add As Many Cards As You Wish
Obviously, this is within reason (what the company calls reasonable use). Each card you add to your Swyp SmartCard is going to take up a little memory. The SmartCard has ample memory, but it has a limit. Nevertheless, even people with fifty and sixty different types of cards (loyalty cards, bankcards, credit cards, trade cards, etc.), will still be able to put them all on his or her SmartCard with ease.
Being able to add as many cards as you wish is currently a unique feature because Plastc and Coin only allow up to 25 (maybe 30) cards to be added. Use the left and right arrow buttons to skip between your cards, and use the middle button to select the card you want.
Send Money And Vouchers With Your Swyp SmartCard
If you have a PayPal or Skrill account, you may enjoy the function that allows you to send money from your PayPal account to another person’s PayPal account, or from your Skill account to another person’s Skrill account. You may do something very similar with your Swyp SmartCard.
If another person has a Swyp SmartCard, you may send money over to that person in a similar way that you may send money via PayPal and/or Skrill. What’s more interesting is that you may also send gift cards and gift vouchers too. Since your SmartCard allows you to store loyalty cards, gift cards and voucher cards, the Swyp system also allows you to transfer them to another person’s Swyp SmartCard.
Monitor What You Spend
The Swyp SmartCard allows you to buy things with different cards and different accounts, and each transaction is funneled through a single SmartCard. This allows the Swyp app to track what you spend, which may help you create and maintain budgets.
It may also help alert you to any odd account behavior. For example, if you only use your SmartCard for offline purchases, and you notice another offline purchase using one of your regular cards, it may indicate that somebody has been using your cards without your knowledge.
The Swyp app allows you to attach receipts to your app for clutter-free accounting. This will also help you monitor what you have been spending. There is no need to actively monitor or manage the receipts you collect. You may simply store them for when and if you ever need them. Also, do not forget that even if you do not keep the receipt, the app still stores the transaction so that you may review it later.
View Your Balances With The App
The Swyp app allows you to monitor and review your account balances, which is great, albeit unimpressive in this day and age. It also allows you to view the balance of most of your loyalty cards, especially the ones from bigger brand names. You often have to sign into the merchant’s website to see the balance of your loyalty cards, but this app does the hard work for you in that department.
A Convenient Tool In More Than One Way
The Swyp SmartCard is a convenient tool that has very few negative aspects. With the exception of the Stratos card that now only has a support network in place, the three remaining Smartcards (Coin, Swyp and Plastc) have very little wrong with them with the exception of a few security worries here and there.
Yet, the biggest criticism of the Swyp SmartCard is its tactile button navigation. If you have 8 cards on your SmartCard, then clicking to find one is easy, but what if you have 60 cards loaded onto your SmartCard? Doesn’t that mean you may have to potentially click an arrow button up to 59 times before finding it? Yes it does, but Swyp has tried to solve that problem.
The SmartCard learns which cards you use and what times you use each card. Using this information, it creates a probability around which card you are going to pick and it displays that card first. It doesn’t just learn from how many times you use a card; it also uses the time of day, the day, and the month to judge. If you have many cards loaded onto your SmartCard, it may save you a lot of clicking and skipping.
The Locking Mechanism When You Are Out Of Range
If you use your phone to load up your SmartCard with cards, and if you have the app installed on your phone, and if you have the correct type of Smartphone, you may be able to link your phone and your SmartCard.
Your Smartphone and SmartCard will communicate. If your SmartCard moves out of range your Smartphone, you may set it to lock up. This means that if you leave your card in a shop, it will lock up as soon as it can no longer detect your phone. Once you retrieve your SmartCard, you may reactivate it with a pin. Your phone will also send you an app notification telling you that you have moved out of range of your SmartCard, which may help stop you losing your SmartCard.
If you do not link your card to your phone, then you will have to enter the pin every time you wish to use the SmartCard in a shop and/or when you hand it to a merchant. If you do use your Smartphone and the ZZZZZ app, you may have your phone enter the activation pin for you so that your SmartCard reactivates whenever it moves back into range of your Smartphone.
How Long Does The Battery Last?
There is a little confusion about this at the moment. Many online reviewers are saying the battery lasts for just a year, but they are not privy to any of the test data that Swyp has. A spokesperson for Swyp made a vague claim saying that the battery lasts at least a year, while indicating that light users batteries will take longer to drain.
At the moment, your Swyp SmartCard battery is not rechargeable; you will have to have it replaced and/or have another SmartCard sent to you. However, the Swyp has stated is intention to create rechargeable batteries.
Button Issues And Tricky Waiters
A common question that Swyp receives is, “Will the buttons press in my pocket or in an ATM?” The answer is that they will not. A button press requires a depression that sinks further than the surface of the card. This means that if you were to press the card against a flat surface, the button pin couldn’t reach the connector to form a full button press.
The buttons are tactile (clickable) buttons, which means there is a mild chance they may be pressed in your pocket, but not your wallet, but random button clicks do not harm your card.
You are able to lock your card if you would prefer to use a pin every time you use it. You may also lock the card you choose so that waiters and merchants may not charge a different card. For example, if you are in a restaurant and you wish to use your HSBC credit card, then you may pick it from the cards you have loaded into your SmartCard, and then you may lock the selection. This will keep the HSBC credit card selected, even if the waiter accidentally or purposefully clicks the buttons on your SmartCard.
Conclusion – A Sensible Option For SmartCard Users
It does its job, it is secure, it has no major flaws and it isn’t trying too hard to impress. It is not too expensive, and it takes very little maintenance. It is hard to find any reasons why you shouldn’t buy it. The only reason people may have trouble deciding is if they are stuck between getting a Plastc and a Swyp. The choice is yours at the end of the day, suffice it to say that you cannot go wrong with either a Plastc or Swyp SmartCard.
If you have any further questions about the Swyp SmartCard, their Swyp FAQ is very concise and answers most questions quickly.