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What’s In Your Bio Wallet?

December 18, 2013 By: Mathew Dirjish, Sensors

Not a new cyber vehicle for stir-fry cooking, the Wocket, as described by its maker NXT-ID, Inc., is a next-generation biometrically-secure wallet, a.k.a., bio wallet.  Expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2014, the Wocket’s purpose is to replace traditional wallets and the number of cards we all carry around in them. An episode of Seinfeld comes to mind in which George Costanza carries around a wallet the thickness of a Carnegie Deli sandwich that causes him more physical distress than actually consuming said sandwich.

Essentially, the Wocket is a card with a programmable magnetic strip. Users can program up to 100 cards into it, i.e., credit, debit, ATM cards, as well as personal IDs, medical records, those multitude of supermarket membership and reward cards, etc. At this point, it does not appear to support public transportation cards like New York’s MetroCard. But that’s fodder for future forays.

According to the company, the card works independent of a smartphone or the Internet. In terms of security, this is a step forward, particularly since we hear of some new cyber threat every other day. Also, battery life does not seem to be an issue. A comprehensive Q&A discussion is available on the company’s website.

Commercially speaking, SoundView Research, estimates that NXT-ID can capture six-million users for its Wocket in the US alone. Selling price for The Wocket is $99.99 each. Of course, there is an optional insurance program and some miscellaneous extra services; all totaled, the Wocket is expected to suck in about $780 to $930 million US bucks.

There is also no shortage of expertise behind the product. NXT-ID has recruited Lawrence Flanagan and Ken Moy to ensure a successful 2014 launch of The Wocket.

Since January 2013, Lawrence Flanagan is President and Founder of New Tech Haven and was formerly the Executive Dean at the University of New Haven College of Business. As the global chief marketing officer at MasterCard, he managed a $1.5 billion budget, directed marketing strategies in more than 50 countries, and helped launch the company's successful "Priceless" advertising campaign.

Formerly senior vice president and Group Head of US Emerging Payments at MasterCard Worldwide, Ken Moy led the execution of the company's digital conversion strategy and managed all aspects of product development and a diverse set of existing products including online and offline payments, authentication solutions, spending controls and alerts services. He launched MasterPass, the firm's digital wallet solution. Currently, Moy is Founder and President of Harvest Advisors LLC, a provider of strategy, business development and implementation advice to start-ups and technology solution providers in the developing commerce space.

Assuming all this info is accurate, it appears that NXT-ID is on its way to a successful and profitable new-product launch. The Wocket will most likely be accepted by the greater public at large because, hey, who wants to go around with a deli sandwich in their back pocket? We will also need to wait and see how secure the Wocket really is. Hopefully, we won’t hear of thieves stealing peoples’ cholesterol reports in the near future. ~MD

About the Author: Mathew Dirjish

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