If your wallet is has more plastic than a Beverly Hills housewife, and your mobile payment app isn't accepted everywhere, one company has come up with a fix.
A start-up called Stratos has spent three years developing the Connected Card. Here's how it works:
All of your accounts are collected onto your smartphone. Then that information is transmitted to the Bluetooth-enabled card with a tap, based on which account is needed, which is often determined by geography. Near the bank? You get the ATM card info sent. At a gas station? Your gas card, or Visa, whatever.
One card to rule them all.
One card ... with all your information on it. Hmmmm.
Stratos says, "No problem." If the card is separated from the phone for a certain period of time, it shuts down. Which is fine, unless the phone and the card are taken together and you don't have a kill switch on the phone. It's always something.
Mashable reported Stratos will launch the card in April. The service will cost $95 for one year, $145 for two. That's kind of a lot, but you have to determine the price of convenience.
Finally, you still need to carry more than one thing with you: a phone, the super card and your ID. At least eventually the card and the phone will be one, right, Apple Pay? Mashable pointed out, however, that keeping one card does have one current advantage over mobile payment: It's still easier to pull out a card than pull up an app.