These are the 'gadgets' that are intended to replace credit cards

Contactless technology has been a breakthrough, but the financial industry is working to relegate cards

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Renewed or die. Inserting the card into a dataphone and typing the PIN code is outdated, let alone sliding the magnetic strip of the plastic through the POS, a gesture of the most vintage . The credit card industry, which has already turned 103 years old, is in full boil. Contactless technology has been a breakthrough ; it is enough to bring the card over the POS to complete the purchase, without the need to enter the PIN if the payment is less than 20 euros. According to a Visa study carried out at the end of last year, half of the respondents said they had a contactless card and 28% claimed to use it without entering it in the POS.

But the financial industry is already working on relegating the cards of all life, including contactless, to the bottom of the drawer, in favor of the smartphone, bracelets and other gadgets that aim to revolutionize the sector of means of payment. In fact, 94% of banks already allow payment through the smartphone, 88% offer their users NFC or contactless technologies and eight out of ten have wallets, according to the study The digital maturity level of Funcas.

Pay with your mobile, a reality within reach of almost everyone

Most Spanish banks allow their customers to pay for their purchases with their mobile phones using their own app. To use this option it is necessary that both the mobile device incorporates NFC technology , something that most new models already have, such as the POS.

But not only that, it is possible to leave the house without a card or cash, even if you want to withdraw money. At least seven banks offer the possibility of withdrawing cash from the ATM with the mobile phone or with access codes to remote banking , without the need to insert the card in the machine, they report from the bank comparator HelpMyCash.com. This is the case of ING that allows holders of their Payroll and Non-Payroll Account to operate in their ATMs with the user of online banking. BBVA, one of the banks that has opted more for digitalisation (in fact, it allows opening an online account without commissions and without connection with a simple selfie, something unusual in physical banking), resorts to the same system as ING, although in this In case the bank sends an SMS with a code to the client to verify his identity.

The ‘sticker’, the alternative to the NFC

Those that do not have a terminal with NFC do not have to be outside of evolution. They can attach a sticker to the back of their phone. Entities such as Sabadell, Laboral Kutxa, Kutxabank, Cajamar, Bankia, BBVA or imaginBank offer it to their clients. It is a mini format card with contacless technology that can be attached to the smartphone. Its main advantage is that it prevents us from removing the card from the wallet, since it is enough to slide the device over the dataphone.

Bracelets to pay for purchases

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The bracelets have been the wearables that have had the most implantation. CaixaBank, imaginBank and Banco Santander offer their customers silicone wristbands, adjustable and submersible in water . They work the same as a contactless card. The customer brings his wrist to the dataphone, which must be compatible with the wireless technology, and type in the PIN if the purchase exceeds 20 euros.

CaixaBank offers its bracelet in seven different colors, free for the first year and compatible with Visa Classic Credit, Visa Oro Crédito and Visa Electron Debit cards. In the case of imaginBank, the wristband is free year after year, as reported by the SAC, can be requested through the app in black and is associated with Visa cards offered by the entity. In addition, the current account of imaginBank is free, does not require linking or permanence, and is managed entirely through the smartphone.

The case of Santander is different, since its bracelet works like a prepaid card, also contactless, but requires pre-charging with a maximum of 900 euros.

‘Wearables’ for all tastes

The accessories are becoming the new competitors of the cards of a lifetime. Rings such as Kerv Ring or NFCRing allow you to pay for purchases with a simple finger movement thanks to NFC technology. On the other hand, last March Visa presented some sunglasses that allowed paying at a POS thanks to a chip hidden in one of the pins. A whole revolution that, at the moment, has not reached the market.

But not all new projects end up seeing the light. A good example was the Plastc card , whose objective was to associate the rest of the cards in our possession to a single plastic. Something like a card to replace them all. Too futuristic to be true and the reality is that in the end it will not reach our pockets. The project, a dream of financial engineering, with touch screen even , has closed. According to the company, the reason has been the inability to have achieved the necessary capital to carry out the project.

Another similar design that could see the light is SWYP . It is u n card like any electronic device, except that it is made of metal, which allows you to associate up to 25 debit and credit cards and select the one you want to use at any time by pressing a button.