Friday, 14 June 2013


South Bank SunshineA few days ago, some of us were together in a restaurant in London. We were chatting away and probably because it was near 'bill time' the chatter briefly swayed to wallets. Or more particularly, how to keep them thin. Yep, it was that part of the evening.

People sometimes comment on my use of Oyster card holders as a substitute for a proper wallet. I see the objective to be to somehow reduce the number of cards I need to carry and therefore the Oyster card holder creates an interesting lower end design point. They are also (a) free and (b) frequently given away at places like train stations. My current groovy one is from the Tate Modern.
So I could claim that it's a proper work of art as well, although I confess that a previous version was in the colours of Sweden and advertised IKEA.

I decided to look at how professionals of wallet management would handle this and found the useful item below.
It's fair to say that I've discovered most of this myself, but it's useful as a summary.

Te tricky part is the bit about storing card info on the phone. I do that as well, using one of the keyring type applications which scans the card and makes a copy of the relevant information, optionally allowing the images of it to be stored too. There's a few of them around and it's quite a good idea.

The challenge, as we were discussing in the restaurant, is that these services also use 'The Cloud' which can create problems.

The first problem is that some of them don't keep a local copy of the image cached in the phone. That's not a lot of use if someone asks you to 'prove it' when you quote a (non payment) card number to them. The related problem is the one we've seen at plane check-in gates, when there's no phone signal and someone is trying to check in using a phone based bar code. It's a great idea but doesn't always quite work. I've also had the dedicated apps (ie Storecard apps) lose the information after being updated.

The second and topical problem is the thought that all these codes are now in the ether Cloud somewhere. The more paranoid might think it was all part of a Big Brother plan.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

It feels like that to me. They say you can either have PRIVACY OR The INTERNET but not both at the same time. It is a dilemma.

rashbre said...

Naomi Yes, 'price of freedom is eternal vigilence' and all that...