Breaking: Plastc Card Delayed Further. The Future of Credit Cards Will Have to Wait Longer!

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plastc card delay 2016

I have been covering Plastc here on the blog since October, 2014. While there are quite a few digital credit card replacement products out there, this one has long been the most ambitious. It has all of the features of competing products plus has a chip and supports NFC and RFID technologies. At least it will at some point and if it ever ships.

Last August I decided to purchase a Plastc card both for blog research and because they were offering a 2 for 1 deal. (Who can resist 2 for 1?) Since then I have been looking forward to the announced April 29, 2016 launch date so I could get my hands on the card. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.

A Letter to Customers

About an hour ago Ryan Marquis the CEO of Plastc, sent out an email to all customers who have pre-ordered and paid for their Plastc card(s). Among the biggest revelations are that the card will be delayed until August or September. This timeframe could of course change once again as they continue in their development process.

In his letter Marquis points to the following as challenges:

  • FCC, CE, and ISO testing and approval is taking longer than we expected.
  • Android and iOS app development and backend engineering.
  • One of our merchant providers, Stripe, has chosen to hold our early pre-order funds.
  • Prototypes require lead times for our contract manufacturers and component vendors, and lead times can change on a daily basis. Our next and anticipated final prototype is slated to be completed in the next few weeks. This should provide a fully functioning card. Once we work through any remaining issues, we will be ready for full-scale production.

plastc card delay 2016

My Thoughts

As I noticed the April date getting closer without more news, I had already assumed the product would be delayed. If the information in the letter is to be believed, they have a supply chain worked out which is probably their biggest obstacle if they are going to launch this year. I remain optimistic that they will be able to launch this product, but am frustrated with the delays.

Many of Plastc’s competitors have already shifted focus or gone out of business as this type of product has proven very difficult to develop. I still think Plastc is the best overall product out there if it delivers. Marquis did promise to update customers more often, so hopefully we will be more up to date as things progress.

Should You Purchase

At this point I would probably hold off purchasing unless you want to get in line to get this device now. As you will see in the letter below, it will take awhile for them to deliver all of the pre-orders, so you might be waiting in to 2017 if you don’t purchase beforehand. Of course,  who knows if this will be delayed again. If you do want to purchase, you can get $20 off with my personal referral link.

Full Text of the Email

Here is the full text of the email sent to pre-order customers.

Hello Plastc Pre-Order Customers,

I have read your comments on Facebook and Twitter and see the demand for more frequent updates. Going forward, you will get them. We have made tremendous progress and are excited to share our latest with you. You are our loyal and valued customers, and you deserve to know the realities that we face every day. You will see the successes as well as the challenges that we encounter while bringing a product of this caliber to market. Updates will come through social channels, blog posts and email. That is a promise, from me to you.

The Big Question:

When will Plastc Card ship? While we have made great progress, we will be delayed beyond our April 29, 2016 ship date. Based on our current development and production forecast our new shipping timeline is August-September 2016. If this changes, you will be informed immediately, whether the date is closer or farther away.

Before I share with you our progress and remaining challenges, I’d first like to thank you for your support throughout the past year while we’ve been developing and manufacturing this card. Our consumers are the inspiration behind this product and without your enthusiasm and continued support, we would have never made it this far.

Current Progress and Feature Updates:

As you know, Plastc is not a simple device. It’s a complex system that has to be “just right” – all of the time. As our competitors have learned from shipping their product before it was ready, “sort-of-working, some of the time,” is not okay. I refuse to ship you a product that does not consistently work. Along the way, we have solved many significant challenges and have made some decisions on what the final card and app feature set will have:

  • All components including the E-ink screen assembled and connected in form factor.
  • E-ink screen fired up and working with successful tap and swipe motions.
  • Production and supply chain is in place and we are manufacturing prototype cards.
  • Rewritable magnetic stripe is working. While we still have some testing to complete, our success rate with the rewritable magnetic stripe is very encouraging.
  • Plastc card has the hardware necessary to support EMV and NFC payments; however, partnerships are needed in order to be able to support the technology. These relationships may not be in place at launch. We are currently working on solidifying those relationships and will share updates as they become available.
  • Plastc card has the hardware necessary to support RFID; however, it will not be supported at launch.
  • The Wallet App is equipped to support barcode cards; however, barcodes will not be displayed on Plastc Card itself at launch.
  • Plastc Wallet will only support English language at launch.
  • Plastc Card will ship with its own proprietary charger.
  • The Wallet App will not feature facial authentication, but instead use touch ID for supported iOS devices and fingerprint sensors for supported Android devices. A 4-digit pin will be required to access the Wallet App.

Remaining Challenges:

Below are a few of our remaining challenges. None of them are showstoppers, but combined they have slowed our progress and have contributed to the delay in delivery.

  • FCC, CE, and ISO testing and approval is taking longer than we expected.
  • Android and iOS app development and backend engineering.
  • One of our merchant providers, Stripe, has chosen to hold our early pre-order funds.
  • Prototypes require lead times for our contract manufacturers and component vendors, and lead times can change on a daily basis. Our next and anticipated final prototype is slated to be completed in the next few weeks. This should provide a fully functioning card. Once we work through any remaining issues, we will be ready for full-scale production.

As I said above, none of our outstanding challenges are showstoppers. We are more confident than ever that we will solve any remaining issues and deliver you a groundbreaking product.

We have been blessed and humbled with each order that has come in. We truly appreciate your support, confidence and patience. However, it’s going to take time to ramp up our production process in order to deliver all of our pre-orders. If you wish to cancel your pre-order for a full refund before your order ships, please email cancellation@plastc.com. But I hope you stick around. Plastc Card is going to be an AWESOME product.

Thank you again for your support, honest feedback and patience. We are getting very close!

Ryan Marquis
CEO – Plastc, Inc.


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20 COMMENTS

  1. Is this worth getting it? I see that if you pre-order before the April, you get free lifetime subscription. Otherwise, users would have to pay subscription.

    • It refers to the lifetime of the card itself. Realistically, your card will probably have only a 1-2 year lifetime before the rechargeable battery needs to be replaced.

  2. They forgot to mention that Mark Stubbs, the Chief Technology Officer, and founder is gone. What else aren’t they saying?

  3. I pre-ordered, and now have an opportunity to cancel it. Should I? My only reason for getting it was to use it as a debit card of sort. Instead of nameless gift cards which can be loaded into it.

  4. How does the card duplicate the chip? I thought the whole point of the chip is that, unlike the mag stripe, it’s not supposed to be possible to duplicate it.

  5. Another FYI…The battery is rechargeable, lasts about a year and is NOT replaceable. so have fun replacing this thing once a year @ $155 a pop on top of subscription fees.

  6. I preordered this 6 months ago, I was skeptical from the beginning, and I immediately cancelled my preorder after I got the delay email from plastc. I am more than 100% sure that either it won’t ever ship at which point plastc will end up refunding everyone or will ship with promised features missing and nearly useless.

  7. I hate when companies take your money and then don’t deliver by the promised delivery date. In Plastc’s case, this has happen so many times and i have no hope for August/September at all. It might get delivered at the end of 2017 but by then we will have more reliable and cheap options instead of paying $180 + ($60 subscription). I think the company should just refund everyone and admit that they have done a great mistake by promising something they had no idea how to deliver. All this analyses they are provided now, should have done before the product was being started.

    So, keep this page bookmarked and come back in year 2017 to see another deadline.

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