By: Fatema Fatakdawala
Wouldn’t it be cool to have one card that can automatically figure out the smartest way to pay for your credit card purchase?
For an annual fee of $50, LA-based start-up Wallaby Financial connects all your credit cards into one. Most of us have several credit cards that offer rewards such as air miles, gas, grocery and hotel points upon usage with purchases. Therefore, it can be highly tedious to figure out which card to swipe at the check-out counter; not to mention making your wallet heavier.
Matthew Goldman, CEO of Wallaby bets that improving the existing credit-card system is the better way to go compared to newly emerging payment technologies, including ones reliant on near-field communications (NFC) chips in smart phones.
So how does it work? The Wallaby card itself is not a new line of credit. Basically, they send you one new plastic slab to use instead of all your other cards. When you swipe the card, the service uses algorithms to determine which card will earn you the most rewards for that particular transaction.
Goldman commercialized his idea with LA-based start-up accelerator MuckerLab and was inspired with it after spending days on the road using the wrong card and missing out on the deals and discounts for his purchases.
There are many competitors for this technology. In addition to PayPal, there is Google Wallet and Isis which use NFC on a cell phone to make a digital payment via a large wireless carrier. Goldman argues however, that “Right now, plastic works…People know how to swipe their credit cards.” Wallaby’s card works with existing readers, so merchants don’t have to do anything special to begin accepting it.
Fatema joins the RIC team as the Communications Officer responsible for marketing, social media, event and web management. She is a graduate student pursuing her final year in the Master of Biotechnology program at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
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