There’s nothing quite like the sinking feeling of panic when you think you’ve lost your wallet, running around in a cold sweat retracing your steps, patting down all the pockets in every jacket and pair of pants you own, envisioning slick crooks cackling as they buy plane tickets to hot climes on your dime. The Ekster smart wallet aims to put a sense of ease in your pocket with its several-pronged defense strategy and trackability. It even looks smart, too. Oh, and let’s not forget that it gives fast access to cash and cards — that’s important as well, of course.
Currently there are two versions of Ekster — the Senate and the Parliament. Both are incredibly slim (clocking in at less than an inch thick), handcrafted, genuine calf leather wallets that will protect up to five credit cards from wireless skimming with RFID/NFC blocking. The Ekster tech team says its aluminum cardholder blocks out all signals and that its users are “100 percent protected against any data theft.”
“People aren’t aware of how prevalent RFID skimming and data theft are,” explains company cofounder Olivier Momma. “With Ekster, we are providing a fashionable, trackable and secure solution to these issues.” Momma adds that his wallet is a high-tech alternative to the bi-fold style we’ve all used for years, and offers the fastest card access “in an ultra-slim design that maximizes storage and minimizes bulk.”
The Ekster wallet’s second security prong is the cool tracker it has inside that synchronizes with your cell phone via Bluetooth. The app gives you two-way protection. If you leave your wallet on the table at the restaurant, you’ll receive an alert when you move too far away that will allow you to locate it using the map function. And if you are a regular phone-misplacer, you’ll appreciate the reverse tracking button that you can activate on the Ekster that will make your phone start ringing, even if it’s in silent mode (we know, it must be magic). All is not lost if you stray out of range (up to 90 feet), either: Ekster has teamed up with TrackR, and its crowd GPS network will help you find the wallet by sending you a GPS update when another user is near your wallet’s location.
While we’re totally on board with the security features of the Ekster wallet (who needs the hassle of identity fraud and all its fallout?), we have to admit that our favorite element is probably the clever click button that pushes out your cards. The spring-loaded mechanism “deals” your card stack so there’s no need to open your wallet and fumble. Talk about fast finance!
The Senate is the perfect design for the minimalists out there. A removable strap on the outside allows you to carry an additional three cards (eight in total) as well as cash safely and securely inside your pocket. If you carry more plastic than that, perhaps the Parliament is more your speed. It can hold seven more cards, outside the RFID/NFC protected case, as well as coins and cash. Both wallets are available in coffee brown, cognac, black and steel blue.