Plastc and the art of the scamming the deal.

Editors note: The following is a draft post that I never finished. The crus of my original post was building upon my previous post in which I alledge Plastc is a scam. Plastc shuttered this past week and we now know, it was indeed a colossal scam. 

I’m surprised that despite the fact that my blog is about Airstreams, the most visited post—by far—is about Plastc, a device that promised to consolidate all credit cards on to one credit card shaped device with an e-ink screen that would change and react to input from the user, presumably eliminating the need to carry more than one credit card.
According to the original Plastc website: “Plastc is a new payment technology that brings intelligence to the way you pay. It behaves the same as your existing cards, whether they are credit or bank cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, or even key cards. It is safer than traditional cards without sacrificing the universal acceptance you currently enjoy. A Plastc Card will truly slim your wallet – you’ll only need one card to store all the information of twenty!”

And not only that, but it was claimed that the Plastc Card would be waterproof as well: “We know you’re probably going to do a cannonball into a pool one day and realize you left your Plastc Card in your pocket. From day one, we made sure Plastc was designed to be waterproof.”

The original Plastc website shows what appears to be a working Plastc card first being presented for payment, then having its owner select the proper card for use, then the card being swiped, and then the e-ink screen being used to verify the signature on the purchase bill. The original website doesn’t show the card being submerged, so the legitimacy of that claim remains a bit of a mystery, but would seem to imply that the creators of Plastc have thought of just about everything.

Now, for the sake of comparison, most Visa and MasterCard commercials show cards being swiped in a manner that would be impossible in the “real” world, so sometimes, it seems plausible that advertisers or companies might take liberties to show their product in the most straightforward manner.

Unfortunately, and sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Plastc. The website—from its inception—seems to imply a variety of things that are not accurate or true, which reverberated all over the internet and were never corrected in the public record. Moreover, the entire endeavor appears to be an elaborate scheme that leads unsuspecting consumers down a rosy path toward abandoning (or simply forgetting about) their $155 downpayment… for a waterproof promise that has never come true.

The fact of the matter is that despite endless promises to the contrary, Plastc has never shipped.

Visuals imply “what you see is what you get.” Simply, this is not the case with Plastc. The images used to promote (and cajole early adopters into coughing up $155 for the privilege and convenience of owning a Plastc card) clearly show a card that shows what appears to be a working American Express card, an EMV chip, an e-ink screen, and (though it’s never shown explicitly, but its use is) a magnetic stripe.

This would seem to imply that a working card would be available shortly after the launch. According to the Plastc site:

“Plastc Inc., this website and the products and/or services offered on this website are neither endorsed, nor sponsored by, nor affiliated with, the above-referenced banking/financial institutions and/or retailers. Each of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Charles Schwab, Citi, Chase, Bank of America, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and Apple are registered trademarks of their respective owners and this website does not endorse or sponsor any such trademarks or their respective owners. *Plastc card will be available to use across all participating locations and with all participating payments types following an over-the-air firmware update in 2015 to enable Chip and PIN and contactless payments. **Product design and features may vary at the time of shipping.”

The visuals on the site are outstanding and very professional.

Well, that’s telling. First, none of the companies that have attempted this have achieved it. All indications is that Plastc won’t either.

“We will have an EMV card reader that will transfer data from your EMV card to your Plastc Wallet. Plastc has a rewritable chip technology that will rewrite your Plastc Card based on whatever EMV card you select. When you insert your card into the reader, we will be adhering to PCI standards for storing and encryption when inputting your data onto the Wallet app, as well as transferring your data to your Plastc Card.”

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