Sometimes, developers and entrepreneurs come around with an invention that attracts the eyes of many. Sometimes they create something that answers a question that a lot of people have wanted answering for a long time. The question that the Stratos Card answers is “What if I want lots of credit cards and points cards but don’t want them filling up my wallet?”
What Does It Look Like?
Stratos is a simple, beautiful credit card that can be tapped onto a NFC machine and can process whichever payment you want. The first thing you notice about the Stratos card is not just how modern and sleek it is but by how incredibly thin in it. This is a card that has an NFC chip, a Bluetooth chip, a battery and touch-sensing technology buried inside it. Yet when you place it on a table, it’s as thin, if not possibly thinner, than a regular VISA card that you’d have in your wallet. That already answers the question of whether it’s something that can adapt into your current everyday life. Wouldn’t it be great to swap out your 10 different points, debit and credit cards for this one card that fit in the same slot?
How Does It Work?
The way in which Stratos works is fairly simple. You can have up to three accounts active at any time and to wake the device up you just tap it twice. To add the accounts you can simply enter them within the application manually or enter them using a special scanner that plugs into your headphone jack on your phone. When the card wakes up, three lights will blink and you simply tap the colour light you want which will activate that certain account. If you forget which accounts are assigned to which lights, your phone easily reminds you with a lock-screen notification when you wake the card.
Don’t worry, you can store an unlimited amount of accounts on the application that you have to have installed on your smartphone. You simply drag the accounts into the assigned lights on the application to activate them. You can even have a wildcard spot on the left that lets you use an account without changing your slots of your three favourite. This is good if you have a one-time voucher or gift card that you wish to use.
Stratos also has an interesting way to locate the stores that use your cards. For example, if you’ve got a Starbucks card or Costa card loaded on your Stratos, you can tap on that on your phone and it will let you know of a Starbucks or Costa nearby for you to use your card at. It adds another dimension that means you can check how many points you have on your card and then go and find the closest store when you realise you do have enough points for another Caramel Latte!
How Much Does It Cost?
The Stratos card is being sold as a membership, not a one time purchase. The membership itself is $95 for one year or $145 for two. The reason it’s a membership is that CEO Thiago Olson says that they wish to bring plenty of new features to the Stratos card and app for free without them having to go out and purchase a new card every time.
This membership will bring with it the free updates over the air along with the improvements to NFC and more. It will also guarantee you free card replacmeents everytime the hardware is improve or new eatures are added. All you’ll have to do is simply download the data back onto the card by simply synchronsing it with the application again. Additionally, it also brings you Battery Insurance which means that Stratos themselves will get a signal when the 2 year battery life of the card begins to die and they’ll ship one out to you right away. You also get the great perk of free support, either by phone, email or social without having to pay or wait.
So What Do We Think?
The Stratos sounds really quite cool. It’s found a system of quickly being able to allow you to pay for something without having to get your phone out to select a certain account everytime. It’s definitely the best looking credit card replacement we’ve seen so far. In addition, the subscription offering sounds like an appealing option over paying once for something that will likely recieve updates fast which you won’t get.
Security-wise, the Stratos card will disable after a certain time of losing Bluetooth connection (from 15 minutes to 24 hours, whichever you choose.) Don’t worry, it will enable again and still have all your information when you reconect it to your Bluetooth again. So it has a great security option as well, obviously being incredibly important for a device which literally holds all your money… oh AND your precious Starbucks points!
What do you think? Does the Stratos Card pique your interest? If it does, let us know in the comments below!