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Wallaby: One Card to Rule Them All

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A little over a month ago, I looked at our credit card system and wondered if it made any sense to optimize our credit card rewards. We “only” use two credit cards and so our system is dead simple. If I’m in a restaurant, use the Citi Forward. If I’m not, I use my Costco TrueEarnings Amex card (we also have a third card, a Capital One card, for international use but since our international travel is limited the card is shelved until we travel). I know plenty of people who have more than four cards and while I don’t share their love of optimization, or at least their adherence to it, I would optimize if it were simpler.

I see the optimization issue as having two parts – spending and paying. The spending part refers to the card you pull out at the store. The paying part refers to paying the bill when it’s due. There’s a new company out there that will help you with the spending part – they’re called Wallaby. They’re still in beta and while I signed up, I haven’t used it yet (or even seen it).

The basic idea is that you carry one card, the Wallaby Card, with all of your cards “stored” on it. When you swipe it, it’ll automatically know which one to use when you swipe it. I put “stored” in quotes because that’s a nice conceptual way to think about it. They don’t discuss the technology behind it but I suspect nothing is stored on the card itself. When you swipe, it goes to processing and at that point they’ll look up your accounts, do the calculation, and then route the purchase to the appropriate card. Matthew Goldman, founder of Wallaby, assured us the routing occurs in “real-time in the payment cloud.” There’s really no reason to store anything on the card, so I suspect that’s how they implement it.

Here’s their video:

Hopefully they get it into the wild because I’d love to see one of these.

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10 Responses to “Wallaby: One Card to Rule Them All”

  1. DMoney says:

    I wonder how well the online component works for setting preferences and customization.

    This seems like a great idea. It’ll come down to the execution, though.

  2. Was there any info on what the cost is to the user? I like the concept, but I’d hate to use something like that only to find out they’re eating up my rewards with fees.

    • Brandon says:

      The Beta is free, but I’m sure there will be a service fee at some point.

    • freeby50 says:

      Their FAQ says it will be $50 per year after the beta/free phase. It also says that the first 1000 people to sign up will get a lifetime benefit.

      • Jim says:

        Hrm… that makes it slightly less appealing.

      • govenar says:

        The FAQ also says they’ve already reached 6000 people, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you’re not getting it for free (except that the first 6 months are free).

  3. Jim M says:

    I’m for anything that will get all those credit cards out of my wallet.

  4. freeby50 says:

    Looks like a cool idea. I might need to sign up for this. I have not wanted to juggle the rewards on various cards and I just stick to 1 card most of the time. But if this works as promised then it would absolutely make me quite a bit of extra money in rewards every year.

  5. Lauren Biddle says:

    This definitely looks like a cool idea, I would be willing to sign up for this.

  6. keith says:

    I signed up for this months ago, still no word, won’t be surprised if it never comes to fruition. I don’t see too many people paying for this. People who know about this are savvy people looking for great deals etc. these people don’t pay $50 for a service like this that would eat at the bottom line


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