I never thought I’d get excited about boring credit cards, but Geode is an incredibly neat little kit which turns your iPhone into a payment system that can be used anywhere. And not some fancy NFC-style POS terminals, either. The Geode works anywhere you can use a regular credit card.
The kit contains three main parts, plus an app. First is the case, into which your iPhone slips. The second is a detachable card reader, and the third is a reprogrammable credit card which lives in the back of the iPhone case.
To use it, you scan your cards into your phone by swiping them through the reader, and then toss the reader into a drawer or whatever. Then, when you want to use a card, select it in the app and its details are written to the card. Use the card just like any other credit card, even in chip-and-PIN machines.
As if that wasn’t clever enough, you can also scan the barcodes of your store loyalty cards and they are displayed on an e-ink screen on the back of the case, readable by any in-store scanner.
Finally, the app is protected by a fingerprint reader on the front of the case, so that if you lose your phone, the finder won’t get access to all your cards.
If you want one, you’ll have to drag out your tired old credit card and pitch $150 to Kickstarter, where the project has already achieved funding. If you decide to wait for it to go on general sale, it’ll cost you $200. That’s a small price to pay for the chance to leave two or three credit cards at home and replace them with a harder to use and slightly larger iPhone case.