Pocket Tech that's NOT a Smartphone
My life is managed by cards... bank debit, credit, security access, gym membership, driver's license, loyalty... you get the idea. Carrying these cards results in me having to lug around what can only be described as a medium sized brick in my back pocket. I constantly feel off-balance. My jeans show a distinctive patch of wear on my butt. Suits fall oddly when I decide to put my wallet in the breast pocket. Often I'm left just carrying it around and for those that are absent minded such as myself result in too many terrifying instances of me running back to a place I've been looking for the wallet I've left behind.
Many of my wallets don't even protect my cards very well. I've had to replace numerous cards as they've been bent by sitting on them or they've become brittle and cracked.
Many of my cards are now also Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and/or Near Field Communication (NFC enabled). What this means is that I no longer need to swipe my card or even enter a PIN to complete a transaction. The idea from retailers is that it makes the process more efficient and studies show shoppers that use the 'tap' will often spend more.
Contactless cards are more exposed than traditional credit cards. If you want to keep your regular card secure, you could keep it safely in an enclosed wallet or purse; thieves would have absolutely no way to even know if you have a card. However, a thief armed with a suitable reader, within a few feet of you, would be able to interrogate all of the cards in your wallet or purse without your knowledge.
In my search to address these problems I stumbled across a wallet company from Holland called Secrid. Secrid wallets are small on the outside but surprisingly big on the inside. Each Secrid wallet also incorporates an ultra-thin aluminium card protector shielding it from RFID and NFC readers.
This wallet is exactly what I've been searching for! It is tiny! If it were any smaller it would be an elastic band. I actually have 2 of them that I bought within weeks of each other. The main component of the wallet is a aluminium holder that allows you to hold 5 cards with a handy lever you pull that exposes all cards in a staggered formation. Around this is a plastic and leather section where you can hold additional cards, receipts and paper money.
My second Secrid is just the aluminium holder for 5 cards and a stylish metal and fabric band that is used to hold receipts and paper money.
There are a few other styles such as ones with a clasp or a plastic one that slides open so you can place cards and money in one spot.
The beauty of these wallets is their style, size and protection. The first wallet I purchased was $89 and the second was $49. I had to pay and extra $19 for the little Secrid band for the second wallet bringing my total to $68.
Their website has links to retailers across the globe. Generally you can find them at high end leather good retailers and other upscale lifestyle stores. They are even sold at the AGO in Toronto!
After the initial purchase of my Secrid wallet I lost it. More accurately I misplaced it because a few weeks later it was found. My first wallet was black leather and it had fallen in a friends car next to the seat. His car has a black interior and coupled with the incredibly small size of the wallet we did not see it when searching.
A couple weeks without my new best friend and decided to go back to the store to share what I assumed was a very sad story hoping for pity and a discounted replacement. No such luck. I suppose a wallet store's business is at least 50% lost wallets and a discount to every absent minded professor like myself would surely cut into their profits. Anyway, I decided to purchase a replacement but this time I went with the Titanium Grey coupled with a blue band.
A week after I purchased my second Secrid, my first was found. I received a text on our way to the cottage for the weekend. I almost made us run off the road I was so happy (I was NOT driving, my glee startled the driver). I was told that I need to return the second wallet. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the receipt. (wink)
An Urban Dad