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Ekster Wallet Wants To Reinvent How We Carry Money In The 21st Century

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Despite the rise of contactless payment cards and identity fraud, the wallet has essentially stayed the same for centuries. But Ekster Wallet thinks the way we carry money needs upgrading for the 21st Century, adding remote tracking to help you find your wallet if you lose it and a protective layer to keep contactless cards safe from wireless skimming.

Having found funding through Kickstarter but now available for everyone to buy, the Ekster Wallet also has a spring-release button that with the click of a button reveals all of your cards for easy access and a multi-purpose strap that can be used to store your Oyster card or loose cash.

The Ekster Wallet was designed to be as streamlined as possible to reduce as much bulk as possible and to ask look fashionable as well as functional. However, for all its modern sensibilities, some might be disappointed they still made it out of actual calf leather.

Never Lose Your Wallet Again

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The Ekster Smart Wallets includes Bluetooth low-energy tracking which is used to link your wallet to your phone at all times. This means that if your wallet is taken or ‘separated’ from your phone, an alert will immediately sound and you can then use the map function of the TrackR app to see its current GPS location.

You can then make the wallet audibly ring which gives you the best possible chance of retrieving it. As a bonus, you can press a button on the wallet to make your smartphone ring if you ever misplace it.

What Is Wireless Skimming?

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Wireless skimming is a relatively new crime which has grown alongside the use of contactless payment cards. A device, such as an NFC-enabled smartphone with a special app installed, can read a card from very close distances and potentially gain your payment information and other personal details that you would not want to share.

Specialist RFID scanners can read these cards from greater distances and official figures show that £2.8 million of losses were reported in 2015, this represented a huge 1,730 per cent increase over the year before.

In most cases, details are stolen when a payment transaction is made by a scanner which is able to grab the information, but you can help to prevent this by making sure a card reader doesn’t have anything fitted over it when making a contactless payment.

It is still possible to skim cards when they are stored in your wallet and this is where the Ekster Smart Wallet helps because it includes an aluminium cardholder to block out RFID signals.

Ekster Wallets are available from £70/$100. For more information, visit eksterwallets.com. A version of this story first appeared in Gadget issue 9, which is available to buy or download now.

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