The 6 best smart wallets for keeping your money safe

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The contents of your wallet may be the most valuable things on your person, so you need a solid wallet to keep them safe. Luckily, technology has brought us many an option when it comes to protecting our credit cards and cash. The wallets of today not only ensure that you have a convenient place to store your money, but also that you won’t lose said money, or have it stolen. Thanks to the advent of smart wallets, you can enjoy features such as RFID blocking, device tracking, and of course, modern design. Below are a few of our favorite smart wallets to date.

Walli ($89)

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The Walli smart wallet connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and will send you instant notifications if ever you wander too far away from it. That means you won’t have to worry about leaving your wallet at a restaurant, the airport, or at home — if it’s not on your person (or close to it), the wallet will quite literally call you to come back for it. Even more impressive, Walli’s SecurePockets technology lets the wallet monitor the card slot you use most often. If it finds that said card slot is left empty for too long, it’ll send a notification to your phone to check for the missing card or ID. Made of leather and allegedly dust-proof, the Walli uses a single coin cell battery that lasts up to 6 months.

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Voyager Smart Wallet ($90)

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The latest product from Cuir Ally, the Voyager Smart Wallet is constructed from fine-grain premium leather, and combines form with function. The Voyager Smart Wallet comes complete with a pen, which fits along the inner fold of the wallet, and provides space for your passport, your boarding passes, and plenty of credit cards and cash. Even if you fill the wallet to its brim, Cuir Ally promises that it will maintain its sleek and slim design. As for the tech aspect of the Voyager Smart, the wallet comes with an embedded smart chip, which uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone. Simply download the companion Chipolo app, available on both Android and iOS, and monitor your wallet’s activity. If you forget your wallet, the app will send you a notification to let you know that it’s no longer in the vicinity. If you can’t find your wallet, press a button in the app and the Voyager Smart will start ringing. This also works the other way — if you have your wallet but cannot find your phone, double tap the chip in the Voyager Smart, and you’ll set off an alarm on your mobile device.

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Cuir Ally

Ekster ($99)

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Here to ensure that you have a wallet that is not only slim but also secure is Ekster, the smart wallet brand that partnered with Tile to launch a new, solar-charged, RFID-blocking smart wallet. Perhaps the most important part of the Ekster Smart Wallet is in its RFID-blocking technology. Because many credit and debit cards have RFID and NFC technology embedded in them, Ekster notes that they can be “activated and duplicated from a distance,” which can cause serious security issues. But now, you don’t have to worry about someone skimming your credit card data when you’re walking about. With the new Ekster Wallet, you won’t have to dig around to access your credit card or ID, either. Simply click a button to pop out your required piece of plastic, and when you’re done, you won’t have to worry about jamming things back into a bulky getup.

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Wocket ($179)

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The Wocket is basically made up of two components: A physical, removable credit card, and a boxy, rectangular card selector into which the aforementioned credit card fits. The card selector, which sports a touchscreen e-ink display and runs on a standard coin battery, is where the magic happens: You select a saved virtual card to assign to the physical card, which emulates a card swipe by transmitting a wireless signal to a given point-of-sales system. Cards with magnetic stripes are added by swiping them through the selector, while cards with barcodes (e.g., membership, loyalty cards, or event tickets) can be manually copied numerically — enter the string of numbers below a given QR code or barcode and Wocket will generate a scannable image to match. Somewhat unusually for a product of its category, the Wocket doesn’t rely on another device to operate — it’s meant to be used entirely independently, and only requires Bluetooth pairing to an iOS, Android, or Windows Phone smartphone for firmware updates. Security is handled locally, too; you verify your identity by entering a PIN on the Wocket selector’s touchscreen, and optionally by speaking a specific word or phrase.

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Pitaka ($49)

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Made of carbon fiber, the Pitaka wallet is one of the most minimalist and lightest smart wallets out there. It boasts a modular design, which means that you can decide just how thick you really need your wallet to be. The Pitaka wallet depends upon a number of layers that you can customize according to your needs. The layers are held together using powerful magnets, and when you need to access something, you fan the layers out, unfolding as you would a traditional wallet. The top and bottom layers of any Pitaka wallet each have a recess capable of holding one card. The middle layers have two recesses (one per side) capable of holding two cards. Then there are additional layers that can be used to store other things that you might not be able to put in a traditional wallet, like keys, a bottle opener, and more. There’s even an optional tool card layer you can include in your wallet. And because the wallet is made of carbon fiber, it’s not only light and durable, but also features natural RFID blocking so no one can surreptitiously steal your information.

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Compact Coin ($80)

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Don’t let the diminutive size of this coin wallet fool you — it has more than enough space to hold just about everything in your life. Nodus‘ Compact Coin has room for up to 17 cards, as well as coins, cash, and a key. Thanks to its RFID shielding feature, it’ll keep all the cards that you keep within the zippered pocket of your wallet safe. But if you need to keep a scannable ID card in the outer pocket for easy access to say, your workplace or your local subway system, you can do that, too. You can also expand the internal coin pocket to suit your needs, and there’s even a dedicated note sleeve that comes with a built-in key slot. Best of all, this wallet comes in a variety of beautiful colors, and measures a svelte 2.7 by 4 inches.

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Update: Added Compact Coin.