Tackling the amount of plastic in your wallet is the hot trend these days, with Apple, Google, Samsung, and now other retailers like Walmart and Target delving into mobile payment services.
Now entering this crowded field is Cardberry, a card that specifically aims to replace your discount, membership, and loyalty cards. The card pairs with the Cardberry app via Bluetooth, and you can add your cards via a card reader the company provides, or scan it with a QR reader. Plug the card reader through the headphone jack of your phone or connect it via Bluetooth and swipe your card to add it to the app.
When you get to the cashier in a store and you have a loyalty card you can use, open the app, choose the corresponding card, and swipe. The company says it supports an endless list of loyalty, gift, bonus, membership, and discount cards. It’s pretty similar to how other payment frameworks like Android Pay deal with loyalty cards, but what Cardberry offers that’s special is that it lets users share discounts with contacts. You can choose your friend’s card, or vice versa, and send a request to use it. After your bestie accepts the request, you’re permitted to using the discounts or points for 24 hours.
A social sharing feature in the app also lets users inform their friends of loyalty deals that are available.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to charge the card now and then, as the battery lasts from one to three months. Thankfully, it uses the Qi inductive wireless standard, and the card reader the company provides doubles as a Qi charger, which can juice up your phone as well. The card itself has an on-and-off button so you can save the battery when you’re not using it. There’s a small light as well that lights up when the card is ready to be used.
The app will be available on iOS and Android, and the card is available for preorder for $100 and will supposedly work anywhere in the world. The company says it’s working on a version that will incorporate NFC, RFID, flash memory, and an e-ink touchscreen display, so that soon you’ll be able to add credit and debit cards, public transportation cards, and more. It’s set to launch in 2016.