A few years ago, there was a lot of buzz about the promise of “smart” credit cards, which were supposed to combine lots of different credit cards into one product, with the help of smartphone apps and NFC chips. However, with the advent of smartphone and smartwatch-based payment systems like Android Pay, the idea of “smart” cards fell into disfavor.
We have already seen one such system, Coin, go out of business, with its assets acquired in 2016 by Fitbit. Now there’s word that another such company, Plastc, is closing its doors. Unlike Coin, however, it looks like Plastc will shut down without sending out one example of its smart card, despite taking over $9 million from buyers in pre-orders at $155 each.
Plastc first revealed itself in October 2014, claiming that its smart credit card would hold the information of up to 20 normal credit cards inside, and it would help users pay for items in combination with a smartphone app. The plan was to begin shipping the first cards in the summer of 2015.
Plastc said it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means a total shut down of the company, and a liquidation of its assets.
However, that time period came and went with no cards being shipped out, despite statements from Plastc that that it had taken over 80,000 pre-orders. The company kept pushing back the release date of the cards, and today the other shoe finally dropped. In a post on its site, Plastc said it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means a total shut down of the company, and a liquidation of its assets. The message said it had been trying to secure more funding from other investors to keep the lights on, and to ship cards to its pre-order customers, but was unable to do so.
So, what about all that money that Plastc took from its customers? The message on the company’s site stated simply that “we will not be able to fulfill any pre-orders” but gave no indication that it will be offering any refunds for its non-existent $155 smart card. We cannot imagine that the people who took a chance and sent Plastc their money are pleased with this development, and we would bet that lawsuits against the company will be filed very quickly.