Location technology for lost cards?


First up, yay for Monzo making dealing with a mislaid card ridiculously easy; couldn’t find it on Monday morning, froze it via the app; wasn’t where I thought it might be so ordered a new card on Tuesday and it arrived Weds - no complaints there AT ALL.

But it did get me wondering how hard it might be to incorporate the sort of technology that Find My Phone, Tile etc uses in a bank card. After all, if you’re rethinking banking, why not rethink cards? If I could have used the app to locate my card, I wouldn’t have had to order a new one.

Is this type of tech prohibitively expensive? Assume like all this stuff it will get cheaper/smaller etc with time

(Rika Raybould) #2

Problem is, cards are ridiculously thin and the whole tracker with battery is significantly more expensive than a dumb card. Trying to fit any kind of battery technology in there and still have it fit in card terminals or ATMs would be very difficult.

Alert me if I leave my card behind

Ah, that makes sense - might have to wait until batteries have miniaturised enough then (although I understand that Moore’s Law doesn’t work for batteries so maybe I’ll be waiting a long time!)


there is a reverse-Moores Law with batteries which states the more advanced the phone the shorter the battery life. Recent calculations show to multitask on a state of the art smartphone, using email satnav and webbrowsing plus banking apps, would require a battery the size of a rucksack if you want to go a whole day 07:00-23:00 without recharging

(Rika Raybould) #5

As an Ingress player, I know this one all too well. :sob:

(Joel Ho) #6

I thought about this recently when I lost my card abroad. GPS/tracking may not be possible. A realistic alternative could be putting another signature strip on the back, only this one for a method of contact if lost i.e. email address/ Twitter handle. That way if somebody picks a card up they could quickly fire over a message!

(Kevyn) #7

I bought one of those key trackers which bleeped from your phone if you lot it. The battery dies so quickly to be useful in the longer term.

(Karl Gerrish ) #8

How about a note on the back for shop keepers etc, telling them to use the card and void the transaction. This way it would pop up on your app and you would know where it is.