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The best smart wallets

By Christian de Looper


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The contents of your wallet may be the most valuable things on your person, so you need a solid wallet to keep them safe. Luckily, technology has brought us many an option when it comes to protecting our credit cards and cash. The wallets of today not only ensure that you have a convenient place to store your money, but also that you won’t lose said money, or have it stolen. Thanks to the advent of smart wallets, you can enjoy features such asRFID blocking, device tracking, and of course, modern design. Below are a few of our favorite smart wallets to date.

Walli ($89)

The Walli smart wallet connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and will send you instant notifications if ever you wander too far away from it. That means you won’t have to worry about leaving your wallet at a restaurant, the airport, or at home — if it’s not on your person (or close to it), the wallet will quite literally call you to come back for it. Even more impressive, Walli’s SecurePockets technology lets the wallet monitor the card slot you use most often. If it finds that said card slot is left empty for too long, it’ll send a notification to your phone to check for the missing card or ID. Made of leather and allegedly dust-proof, the Walli uses a single coin cell battery that lasts up to 6 months.

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Walli

Voyager Smart Wallet ($75)

The latest product fromCuir Ally, the Voyager Smart Wallet is constructed from fine-grain premium leather, and combines form with function. The Voyager Smart Wallet comes complete with a pen, which fits along the inner fold of the wallet, and provides space for your passport, your boarding passes, and plenty of creditcardsand cash. Even if you fill the wallet to its brim, Cuir Ally promises that it will maintain its sleek and slim design.As for the tech aspect of the Voyager Smart, the wallet comes with an embedded smart chip, which uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone. Simply download the companion Chipolo app, available on both Android and iOS, and monitor your wallet’s activity. If you forget your wallet, the app will send you a notification to let you know that it’s no longer in the vicinity. If you can’t find your wallet, press a button in the app and the Voyager Smart will start ringing. This also works the other way — if you have your wallet but cannot find your phone, double tap the chip in the Voyager Smart, and you’ll set off an alarm on your mobile device.

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Amazon Cuir Ally

Ekster ($99)

Here to ensure that you have a wallet that is not only slim but also secure is Ekster, the smart wallet brand that partnered with Tile to launch a new, solar-charged, RFID-blocking smart wallet. Perhaps the most important part of the Ekster Smart Wallet is in its RFID-blocking technology. Becausemany credit and debit cards have RFID and NFC technology embedded in them, Ekster notes that they can be “activated and duplicated from a distance,” which can cause serious security issues. But now, you don’t have to worry about someone skimming your credit card data when you’re walking about.With the new Ekster Wallet, you won’t have to dig around to access your credit card or ID, either. Simply click a button to pop out your required piece of plastic, and when you’re done, you won’t have to worry about jamming things back into a bulky getup.

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Amazon Ekster

Wocket ($179)

The Wocket is made up of two components: A physical, removable credit card, and a boxy, rectangular card selector into which the aforementioned credit card fits. The card selector, which sports a touchscreene-ink display and runs on a standard coin battery, is where the magic happens: You select a savedvirtual card to assign to thephysical card, which emulates a card swipe by transmitting a wireless signal to a given point-of-sales system. Cards with magnetic stripes are addedby swiping them through theselector, while cards with barcodes (e.g., membership, loyalty cards, or event tickets) can bemanually copied numerically — enter thestring of numbers below a givenQR code or barcode and Wocket will generatea scannable image to match. Somewhat unusually for a product of its category, the Wocket doesn’t rely on another deviceto operate — it’s meant to be used entirely independently, and only requires Bluetooth pairing to an iOS, Android, or Windows Phone smartphone for firmware updates. Security is handled locally, too; you verify your identity byenteringa PIN on the Wocket selector’s touchscreen, andoptionally by speaking a specific word or phrase.

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NXT-ID

Pitaka ($49)

Made of carbon fiber, the Pitaka wallet is one of the mostminimalist and lightest smart walletsout there. It boasts a modular design, which means that you can decide just how thick you really need your wallet to be. The Pitaka wallet depends upon a number of layers that you can customize according to your needs. The layers are held together using powerful magnets, and when you need to access something, you fan the layers out, unfolding as you would a traditional wallet.The top and bottom layers of any Pitaka wallet each have a recess capable of holding one card. The middle layers have two recesses (one per side) capable of holding two cards. Then there are additional layers that can be used to store other things that you might not be able to put in a traditional wallet, like keys, a bottle opener, and more. There’s even an optional tool card layer you can include in your wallet.And because the wallet is made of carbon fiber, it’s not only light and durable, but also features natural RFID blocking so no one can surreptitiously steal your information.

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Amazon Indiegogo

Compact Coin ($80)

Don’t let the diminutive size of this coin wallet fool you — it has more than enough space to hold just about everything in your life. Nodus‘ Compact Coin has room for up to 17 cards, as well as coins, cash, and a key. Thanks to its RFID shielding feature, it’ll keep all the cards that you keep within the zippered pocket of your wallet safe. But if you need to keep a scannable ID card in the outer pocket for easy access to say, your workplace or your local subway system, you can do that, too. You can also expand the internal coin pocket to suit your needs, and there’s even a dedicated note sleeve that comes with a built-in key slot. Best of all, this wallet comes in a variety of beautiful colors and measures a svelte 2.7 by 4 inches.

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Nodus

Woolet ($129)

best smart wallets woolet

Like some other smart wallets on this list, Woolet has an app and will alert you when you stray too far from your wallet, so you won’t forget about it and end up leaving it at a restaurant. Unlike some other smart wallets, however, Woolet has a speaker built right into it so you can set an alarm to go off, making it easier to find the wallet if you’ve lost it. The Woolet app is pretty nice too — it shows your wallet’s last known location on a map, which can be super helpful. With all these features, the wallet does have a battery built into it, but that battery is easy to charge with the included Wireless Qi charger.

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Amazon Woolet

Volterman ($169)

best smart wallets volterman

Volterman is like some of the other wallets on this list, in that it connects to your phone through Bluetooth and has an alarm sound in case you stray too far. But Volterman goes a whole lot further than that. For starters, the wallet has a built-in power bank, meaning you can use it to charge up your phone on the go. It can charge your device wirelessly, too — so you don’t need to worry about carrying around cables. On top of that, the wallet has a built-in camera, which activates if your wallet is in lost mode to take photos of anyone who might have stolen your wallet. It can even double up as a Wi-Fi hot spot and it has built-in GPS tracking. Safe to say, this is certainly one of the smarter wallets on the list.

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Indiegogo


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