Swyp bids to replace wallets with a single card

Swyp bids to replace wallets with a single card

Swyp has become the latest startup to promise to replace the credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards in customers' wallets with a single card and app combo.

Expected to ship in the autumn for an initial price of $49, Swyp consists of a smartphone app and a thin metal card with a small display screen, three buttons and a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to two years.

Once users set up an account and link the card to their phones via bluetooth, they can add up to 25 payment and loyalty cards by swiping them through a provided dongle. Customers then toggle through their cards by pressing the buttons, seeing which one they have selected on the screen before making a purchase or using an ATM.

For security, the card locks when it is a certain distance from the owner's phone, although it can still be used by entering a PIN.

Although other firms, such as Coin and Plastc, are promising to launch similar products, Swyp claims to have a secret weapon: "sophisticated algorithms and unique dynamic magnetic stripe technology" that learns from behaviour, patterns and surroundings to anticipate purchase decisions.

Rather than shuffle through multiple payment, gift or loyalty cards, Swyp predicts personal schedules and automatically prioritises specific cards during certain times of the day or week.

Ashutosh Dhodapkar, founder and CEO of Swyp maker Qvivr says: "Swyp is the first wallet that learns and predicts what consumers want, without having to change consumer behaviour or ask businesses to rip out their current systems. We designed Swyp to make managing money smart, secure and simple as well as help people avoid leaving money on the table."

Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 28 January, 2015, 06:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This can work and will ease customers use. Nevertheless, in europe, magnetic stripes are hardly used anymore... even the us will switch to chip base for credit and debit... 

Dave Sanderson
Dave Sanderson - YBS Group - Bradford/Leeds - UK 28 January, 2015, 08:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I was thinking the same as Rob, the concept itself sounds like a good idea but with chip and pin in use across Europe and chips soon to be implemented in the US surely the technology is flawed?

Something like this with NFC would make more sense but essentially just emulates concepts like Apple Pay whilst removing the convenience of not having to carry a card with you.

Russell Burke
Russell Burke - The Central Bank of Ireland - Dublin 28 January, 2015, 08:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Agreed, the timing is interesting in light of the EMV liability shift in the USA in October.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 28 January, 2015, 10:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If the card were to say, have an NFC chip installed, it would be the best of both worlds. While i agree with Rob on the chip and pin for payments, loyalty cards still work on magentic strips, and no NFC chip nor chip will assist in replacing those unless retail shops adapt.. which I don't see happening anytime soon based on the last few years.

I think this product would have had a better base to launch off of had it come out three years ago when everyone was slow to adapt the NFC chip, and the US adapting the chip and pin mechanism, but I dont think it is too late.

They can still capture a profitable chunk of the market, as the older generations don't like the concept of NFC chips, however would feel safer with a physical tangible card which is multi functional. Myself being from generation Y, would also adopt this product as I carry a wallet, and would prefer to use the card rather than bring my phone out and stick it to the machine for any reason. Old habit.

Brett King
Brett King - Moven - New York 28 January, 2015, 20:56Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The problem (apart from mag-stripe) is that this is fundamentally dumb tech. ApplePay/GoogleWallet, etc are not only doing the same thing, and more securely, but also allow for informational or content augmentation to the payment event. Ultimately both security and better context will make plastic obsolete over the next few years. It's the kindle moment for payments, and this is like a physical book where you can add pages, versus a Kindle that can be managed digitally. It's nonsense


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 January, 2015, 11:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This tech is a brilliant idea, and I even signed up to get Coin when it was in it's first Beta. However, this tech seems to come with it's fiar share of challenges as Coin has been postponed numerous of times. So much so that when I saw Plastc come out (With Chip and Pin) I jumped at the opportunity to cancel my Coin and looked at getting one of those instead. But alas, yet again postponed and now with Swyp coming into the game (without Chip and Pin) it seems that they all seem to be suffering.

If it worked I would welcome a replacement, single, card in my wallet. But mostly I would see this as a great way to move any none electronic cads (loyalty, gift, rewards etc...) into a single place.


Although I ultimately agree with Brett, I can see some added bonus of Two Factor Authentication, requiring two devices to enable a transaction rather than just one.


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