Seems there are all types of new financial tools being made available to consumers today. Some, naturally, are better than others. The Wallaby Card is definitely one of the most interesting – and most useful – tools out there these days. Keep reading as we explore what it does – and what it doesn’t do.
We’ve all heard about the cloud and how it allows all of our digital presences travel with us. Our music, files and even TV shows are now all maintained in a cloud. The Wallaby Card also “lives” in our respective clouds. It’s not a new credit card nor is it a new bank account on any level; instead, it’s a much more advanced digital wallet that allows users to store all the information associated with their financial lives – including all of their credit cards – and then chooses the best credit card to handle your current transaction.
The idea was born after the company’s CEO Matthew Goldman, who’s also a former manager at Green Dot, realized as he was pumping gas into his car that another credit card could have resulted in cash back had he remembered it was an option. The gas pump displayed a message that he would have gotten 5 percent cash back if he used a different card, which annoyed him.
Then, he realized he couldn’t be the only one who felt that frustration; other consumers might also want to maximize their rewards, but perhaps just wasn’t sure how. With more than 34 million Americans with multiple credit cards in their wallets, it can be a hassle trying to keep up with which credit card is best for any particular transaction.
The company’s goal is to “empower consumers to swipe smarter”. The service is still in a trial mode, but with the kind of attention it’s receiving, it’s not likely to stay there long. As of right now, users can sign up on the website before it truly goes live and the first one thousand customers will receive lifetime benefits while the first five thousand consumers will receive a complimentary card for one year. It should be noted Wallaby does have a $50 annual fee. Goldman points out that it averages out to just .14 cents a day.
How it Works
So how does it work? Wallaby sorts and then keeps track of all of the different rewards offers for each of the credit cards consumers own. This might include limited offers or those time sensitive offers we all love. Many of our credit cards have savings quarters where we might save even more on our gas or retail shopping for three months out of the year. Wallaby tracks this and is like a financial reminder, letting us know when those new rewards opportunities kick in. It also keeps track of credit line limits and cash back maximums; it then automatically picks the right card for the consumer, every time he swipes his Wallaby card.
Consumers provide the personal information that’s required by law, the associated credit card numbers they want included in the Wallaby wallet and other specific traits of buying habits, the types of rewards preferred, etc. Wallaby takes it from there.
Computing the Best Card
Each time you swipe your Wallaby Card, it looks at where you are, what day it is, what cards are in your wallet, what your preferences are and any special deals that might be available. It then chooses the best card that benefits the consumer (such as the cash back options for fuel) and then completes the transaction with that credit card.
The consumer swipes his Wallaby card, the right credit card is charged and the consumer walks away knowing he’s getting the most of his rewards programs. Consumers use the Wallaby card every time – whether they’re paying bills online or buying groceries.
There’s a convenient Wallaby mobile app which allows users to add and change credit cards, update their profiles while also keeping real-time track of their accounts, regardless of how many or how few there are.
Finally, for those wondering about private label retail cards, the website offers this:
During the beta, we support major cross-store credit cards and those co-branded with stores. We do not support private label cards at this time, but are working with major retailers to provide this capability for our cardholders.
Currently, the Wallaby Card is available only in the United States and in recent hours, it announced it’s already hit the threshold for those who will receive bonuses for signing up. Still, for all who sign up during the beta phase, they will receive a complimentary six month membership.
So is Wallaby going to be enough to compete with PayPal‘s version? It appears so. Wallaby Financial has hit the floor running and with the kind of interest it’s garnering, it’s well on its way.