My Take on the Fuze Card

By | June 9, 2017

The Fuze Card is a successfully backed Indiegogo project aimed to produce a Powered Card designed to hold up to 30 cards in the form factor of an ISO standard chip card.

FUZE system, fuze card

The card is powered by a rechargeable battery and the user can select the card to activate by pressing buttons located on the front of the card. The chosen card is displayed on an E-Paper display. The card feature a dynamic magnetic stripe, an optional contact chip, a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver and an NFC antenna.

Cards are “loaded” by swiping them on a supplied magnetic card reader that transfer the data (audio jack on mobile phone) to an IOS / Android app. The app then sends the card data to the Fuze Card by Bluetooth. This process can be repeated up to 30 times that is the maximum number of cards that is possible to store in a Fuze Card.

So far, everything looks fantastic!

To be honest, I personally believe that we shall first make some consideration:

1- For Loyalty and Membership Cards where there is a need to elevate the level of security or to store in-card data the choice is chip. There is no standard equivalent to EMV for this applications so each vendor develop their own set of APDUs to access/interact with chip. Fuze Card is not going to work in this scenario.

2- Is not clear how the Fuze Card can acquire data from a contactless card that does not have magnetic stripe.

3- Doesn’t work with payment chip card that host EMV + local ePurse schemes (e.g. Oyster in UK, GeldKarte in Germany, Bancontact in Belgium, Bancomat in Italy, FlashPay in Singapore).

4- For EMV it would be necessary agreement with each and every issuer. If I would be an EMV Card Issuer I wouldn’t be very happy to signup with Fuze because:

  • I have the manufacturing cost for a card that will be kept (unused) in a drawer;
  • I will lose my branding because the Fuze card is totally anonymous.

5- It will be a nightmare to use with the iPhone 7 because of the native lack of the headphone jack.

On the other hands, merchants might refuse to accept the Fuze cards because it does not carry any PAN number compliant with Visa/MasterCard/Amex specifications, there is no CVV /CVC in the back and no cardholder signature.

Additionally, I am not keen endorse something that make my life more complicated (need to recharge) forcing me to carry additional items in my travel bag. I want to carry less, not more.

What’s your take on this?