iCache Is The Credit Card To Control All Credit Cards

Like using different credit cards for different rewards programs but get tired of the bulk? Enter the $99 iCache, an electronic device as thin as a Razr cell phone, that carries all of your credit cards in the writer portion, and then temporarily writes the credit card info onto a card. The card is good for one swipe and then the card goes blank again and ready to be rewritten. The unit is protected by a fingerprint scanner.

Sounds like a device the credit card companies will love. In a few years, we bet they’ll be handing these out for free.

All-in-one credit card [CNN Money]
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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    What if the merchant has a shoddy reader? i.e. takes more than one swipe to get it to read the stripe?

  2. beyond says:

    I wonder what is to stop someone from buying the device, registering it under a different name, harvesting credit card numbers, and then going on a shopping spree?

  3. bossco says:

    It seems like a device like this will eventually be used for fraud.

  4. Myron says:

    Is it April already?

  5. @beyond: Good question.

  6. nidolke says:

    For those with 10 different credit cards. Oh joy! Or, better solution: don’t have 10 credit cards.

  7. davebg5 says:

    What would be really cool is if this device was able to somehow generate a unique account number each time that was only good for a single use. That way, you could use a credit card and have no worries that someone would take the number and use it elsewhere.

    Many credit cards already allow you to generate these unique, single-use account numbers via their website for online purchases. I think having it write such an account number to a card that could be used in person (like at a restaurant where you generally let your card out of your sight) is the next logical step.

    Of course, from a marketing perspective, Americans are much more likely to respond to the convenience of ditching the ol’ Costanza wallet moreso than actually protecting their identity.

  8. Namilia says:

    Why is “i” so trendy now? It’s annoying. Thanks, iPod.

  9. ChrisC1234 says:

    This just seems like an invitation for fraud… Soon, people would figure out how to rewrite the firmware and do as they pleased with it (nice place to store harvested credit card numbers… or a cheap credit card replicator for the masses). Plus, what about things like the security code numbers on the card and card signatures. I can just see the fits people throw when a cashier won’t accept this card because it looks counterfeit.

  10. Employees Must Wash Hands says:

    If this would replace all the other magstripe cards I have that take up space in my wallet, like my transit pass, the keycard for getting into my office, the keycard for my parking garage, etc, then we’re talking.

  11. visualbowler says:

    I think its a great idea but im concerned about how good it would be. If you could store any credit card data on it then it seems with a quick swipe someone could have their credit card information copied to the device and their credit card info used without their knowlege. Someone could have all the credit card info on the device and use it while at the same time the real card holder would have no idea someone swiped it.

  12. bedofnails says:

    @nidolke:

    You make baby jesus sad.

    Just because one has a penis – does not make them a rapist.

  13. raybury says:

    Doesn’t get me in the door at Costco, doesn’t replace the bar coded loyalty cards on my keychain from three grocers, Borders, CVS, and Office Depot.

    Hookers already use hotel keys for stolen credit card information, and I don’t want to be limited to where hookers shop. A smart storekeeper will train his staff to look for the security features on the general-use credit cards; this lacks them, and lacks the security code some cashiers must type in even after swiping a card.

    Great idea, but practically unusable.

  14. taylorich says:

    Would like to see them put a screen on there that would hold your loyalty card barcodes as well. I can see this device replacing my wallet entirely…if it has a pocket for the drivers license.

    As far as stealing of credit card info goes, you have to keep this safe, just like you do your wallet. Numbers can be stolen with a much smaller device than this that canbe readily bought on ebay, so I wouldn’t worry about it any more than you would losing your cards. Of course unless I am missing something and this makes me a complete idiot. If so, I am completely prepared for that. Really.

    Would be nice though if it had wireless access so you could remotely trigger it to erase your information if lost or stolen…maybe they can integrate this into iPhone 2.0?

  15. iMike says:

    I think credit card companies would hate this thing. It provides too much consumer choice, and is a separate step that must be completed before a transaction, theoretically giving a consumer pause before slapping down the plastic.

  16. Elvisisdead says:

    The only complication is knowing the expiration date and the security code on the physical cards.

  17. The_Shadow says:

    I’m amazed that “fingerprint” scanning hasn’t been done away with all together.

    C’mon, MacGyver and the Mythbusters have clearly show such security measures are easily breached by the determined.

    Also Crazy Aaron [of Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld] used his “thinking putty” [Silly Putty is a trademarked brand] to by-pass a fingerprint scanner.

  18. warf0x0r says:

    This would be awesome except for those stupid merchants who ask to see your card… then just hold it while your recipt prints and hand it back to you, I hate those places!!!

  19. thepounder says:

    Ooh, me likey. But how about renaming it something like “uCache” so you don’t get sued by Apple… I mean, maybe try to avoid that altogether.

    For WARF0X0R — I’d hope that maybe if this little device gets off the ground well and gains general acceptance maybe the stores that do the “we’ll just hold your card while your receipt prints” thing will give up that silly practice.

    While this, and most any “semi-secure” device can be defeated, this seems pretty cool, especially for those of us who hate carrying a small army of plastic cards in our wallets (or man-purses, for those who carry that sort of thing).

  20. boingystar says:

    How many cards would one have to carry before this would actually be thinner than the stack?
    More than I have, anyway.

  21. vonskippy says:

    Yawn, another tech solution looking for a problem to solve.

  22. Brian D says:

    I do wish people would read the article/website sometimes. It DOES replace bar code cards, like store loyalty cards. Read the site, the bar code is displayed on its screen for scanning. They even say any card with a mag stripe would be compatible.
    The major catch is getting a waiter to swipe it. At any POS where the customer swipes it themselves, I don’t see a problem. It’s when you have to give the card to someone where they’re going to look at you funny.

  23. coan_net says:

    If these come out for people, what – it would take about 2 days for some teen to break the code and allow you to enter any credit card information on the card that you want.

    It is a neat idea – but don’t think it will work.

  24. digitalgimpus says:

    I doubt it will be adopted. There has been discussion for decades about a universal card. Swipe one card, and select the account you want to use. Technology wise, no big deal. But there’s one business portion that can’t be solved:

    Who gets their logo on the card?

    Credit cards are big marketing. That’s why stores and such like to put themselves in the business. It’s great advertising. People take their cards out a lot. It’s good exposure and good brand reinforcement. They know that.

    No credit card company is going to give up this exposure.

  25. drjayphd says:

    @raccettura: Not only that, but cards work pretty well as far as selling to other people. I have no idea how many people have asked me about my debit card, just because it says “NO ATM FEES” across the top.

  26. ShadowFalls says:

    As pointed out, the biggest issue remains with trust and honesty. There is no security for this system to not allow it to swipe a card and input it into the system if it is not yours. This will lead to further increase of fraud.

    With the now available web browsing phones, one could easily position themselves as a waiter with a fake identification, rack up tens of thousands and run off. If the cards never got registered to the site, and all you need is the basic information which is on the card, what keeps them from registering these themselves?

    The only way I see it is if you only allow cards to be added with your name and only a slight variant name such as an added initial. To make this fully secure, no married couple could share this device with there being a potential risk of fraud.

    The additional issue is, no make no mention of a possible monthly or yearly cost to use the ongoing service, is this something they will try and bring out later?

    Also, they mention that it has a fingerprint reader to authenticate. They fail to mention what type of storage medium this device uses to store its data, or the limitation of how much you can store. The important factor is this will need heavy encryption to avoid the risk of disassembly and being accessed separately.

  27. anatak says:

    Opinions of credit card aside – this sounds like a terrible product. It will be handed out for free since its value will be zero.

  28. nctrnlboy says:

    I dont see this as particularly useful unless you have & carry around about 5+ cedit cards. Its also just another pain-in-the-@ss thing to carry around. Now if this was built into a regular wallet (where you keep all your other stuff like driver’s license, insurance cards, cash etc. etc….. THEN it would be more usefull. I already have an ipod, cellphone & wallet I carry around …. I dont need something ELSE to take up valuable pocketspace. Btw I only keep 2 credit cards in my wallet anyway. And only one has a cashback reward program…. that’s the only rewards program I want.

  29. phobs says:

    @davebg5: That would be a great selling point. It would allow you to track down where your credit card # was stolen. I could see credit card companies supporting that.

    Aside from the obvious fraud implications this seems painfully annoying to use. Now when I want to use my credit card to buy anything it’ll take a minimum of two swipes. In addition I have to carry around some stupid device. Aside from the novelty I cannot see an upside. This only makes sense if you have so many credit cards that this reader will actually take up less room.

  30. waxer says:

    Sounds like an ideal way to do some easy fraud. SweeT!

    But wait, who the hell is going to accept a credit card that says iCache on it and looks fake as hell?

    Whatever..

  31. FLConsumer says:

    I don’t see the use for this thing, nor do I think it’d be valid. I can’t imagine any merchant willing to accept a generic card which I claim is a VISA card. VISA went to great lengths to develop the hologram & UV-reactive cards. I would imagine that a merchant accepting VISA transactions this way would be in violation of their merchant agreement with Visa/their bank.

    I agree that the current mag-stripe only method for credit cards is less than ideal, but this is NOT the solution.

    For those who hate the i-everything, go into Mal-Wart near the hardware section, they even have iFans now. From Gizmodo:

  32. vladthepaler says:

    Sounds perfect for identity thieves. Does this thing have any legitimate uses? Credit cards are pretty small.

  33. hunchum says:

    I want one of these! Looks like they have expanded their web site (FAQs) to dispel fraud worries. Can’t wait to get rid of my wallet!