Jose Palomino

Plastc – Is All-in-one Always The Best Option?

June 16, 2016


Image Credit: Plastc

When it comes to convenience, most of us will take the easy way out. Plastc, a new device that encompasses all debit, credit, and gift cards promises a new level of everyday purchasing convenience.

So what is Plastc?

Plastc is essentially a credit card with a touch screen barcode. To set it up you enter a pin number of your choosing and voila! Everything is in one place; every detail surrounding your card is visible on the touch screen and to access your information you just input that magic number.

  • It promises to be easier for vendors as well; as soon as you swipe your card all of the information they need is pulled up onto their screen. It also includes the new secure chip that is ingrained into its surface and will work just as easily in stores that have adopted this system.
  • One of the best features, in my opinion, is the fact that if you leave it somewhere (movie theater seat, restaurant, subway…) it will alert you through a smartphone app. In fact, if you’ve gone too far away from its location it will immediately delete all of your information – thieves won’t like that!

Bottom line: Plastc is one card that contains the information from all your cards – smart chip – and hard to lose. And… secure. What’s not to love? Well, while all these things sound great, there are a few drawbacks.

Downsides to the All-In-One Solution

For one, Plastc needs to be charged due to its touch screen. Though this is not difficult and the battery is supposed to last up to thirty days, to me this is a negative. Say, for instance, I’ve made my way to the grocery store and bought enough food for my family to last the next two weeks. I hand over my card to the cashier and, to my surprise, the battery runs out. Now, what do I do? I have a large cart that has just been rung out, a line of impatient and exasperated people behind me, and a cashier waiting for payment. If all of my credit cards are at home because I’m supposed to have an all-in-one product at my disposal – that is now dead in the cashier’s hand – what do I do?
Going along with the topic of touch screens, what if it breaks or wears out? If it were me, this card would remain in my wallet and, therefore, in my back pocket until I take it out to pay for something. This isn’t a phone that has a thick protective cover saving it from bumps and bruises, it’s a single card protected by nothing more than a sliver of leather. Plastc isn’t a cheap product, and if I’m sitting on it the whole day, keeping it in such a vulnerable location leaves me wary. Let’s not forget about the physical use of the card either. If it’s used continuously, wouldn’t there be some wearing or damage? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there is high risk associated with injuring the card…or my butt.
The last negative in my mind is that price. $155. Ok. Let that settle in. $155.00 Or…for the low low price of free, I could carry my original cards around.It really comes down to the ROI of owning this product. For $155 I get a card that encompasses every form of digital payment I currently own, but if it runs out of juice or I lose it or it breaks, then what?

The Real Question

What is the true benefit of owning this product?  I always ask my clients to truly consider the pros and cons associated with their product or service. What are the benefits of what you provide? The negatives? If the latter outweigh the former, you may want to consider revisiting your business plan.

Take time to sit down and truly think about what your company offers – think about the benefits, the drawbacks, the hidden costs because all of these facets are what consumers think about prior to purchase. So before you enter the market, take the time to consider all aspects of your offerings and what that means to both you and your consumers.

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