Shift has introduced a card that lets users pay with both traditional bank accounts, loyalty points and virtual currencies.
Register for full access
Our library content is no longer freely available. Please register to gain access to more than 12,000 innovations, updated daily. Our content is global in scope and covers solutions to the world's biggest challenges across 18 sectors.
The traditional wallet is under threat. Last year, we wrote about Coin, the credit card-sized device that stores up to 8 cards at once and can be used in their place. Now Shift has introduced a card that lets users pay with both traditional bank accounts, loyalty points and virtual currencies.
The card appears and operates much like a standard debit card, except it’s tied to a Shift account, rather than a traditional bank account. Users can load a number of their money sources onto the card — whether it’s their bank account, digital currency wallet, ripple account or loyalty membership. The card can be used to pay for groceries with real cash in one shop, and moments later used to hand over Bitcoin for a coffee in another. It can handle payments in different fiat currencies and comes with an app to show exactly what’s been purchased with the card.
At the moment, the Shift card is being trialled by 100 users in the San Francisco Bay Area. It currently only works with virtual currencies and the team is hoping to clear the legal hurdles of integrating loyalty points and real money. Co-founder Meg Nakamura remained positive while speaking to TechCrunch, saying: “It’s just going to take time. U.S. banks are engaged and excited about the technology and its potential. They’re watching regulatory direction closely.”
Are there other ways to make switching between consumers’ various accounts simpler?