iPhone Tip: What’s In Your Wallet? A Lot Less Now.

On July 26, 2008

Filled with credit cards, courtesy cards, AAA and the like, my wallet is overstuffed with no less than 10 different cards at any given time. A quick count reveals that my wife’s exceeds 20. That is a whole lot of cards- especially when many are, at best, used rarely.

A little tip over on ’tis Goud (via JKOnTheRun) brings my "card-age" down significantly.

Best of all, it is easy to do.


Non-Tech Method:

Last year LifeHacker had a post about how to condense up to eight different club cards onto one simple card. As they describe-

Just enter the barcode numbers and choose the store for each card you want to get rid of and Just One Club Card will convert them to a printable, one-card format. Fold, laminate, and enjoy.

It is a simple, low-tech method that could be a big help. It is, however, is soooooo 2007. Now that 3rd Party apps have come to the iPhone there is a much better method.

High-Tech Method:

If the Just One Club Card approach is good a high-tech approach might be even better. It is and it is simple to do.

Instead of writing down numbers just scan both sides of a card and store the images on your iPhone or iPod Touch. If you are using a Mac you can create an album in iPhoto and then sync that album over to your iPhone or iPod Touch with ease. That way any changes you make one one will be reflected on the other the next time you sync.

After this bit of set up, it took me only a few minutes, you are good to go. The next time you are trying to get into CostCo you can simply pull out your iPhone, fire up the Photo app and show it to the card checker at the door. 

Simple and Easy!

BUT… not secure.

Unless you enable your iPhone/Touch’s autolock feature this method leaves the card images sitting right in your iPhone’s photo application and open to the world. As a result, this method is good for shopping cards, AAA, gym membership cards and other types of courtesy cards but not for cards that require more security. There is a secure solution, however.

ilium’s eWallet (an app I am liking more and more the more I use it) has a category for Picture Cards that allows you to store images with the same level of encryption ass to other data you store within it. This makes it easy to safely secure card images while still accessing them quickly when needed. Here’s how…

Create a New Category and name it as you wish

Create a New Card and select the Picture Card template from the (amazing) variety of templates available.

Tap Create

Tap Insert Photo

Tap Camera (you can also select a photo from you Photo Library or Saved Photos)


Take a picture of the card you want to save and secure.

Move and scale to image to get the best picture possible.

Hit Save.

It is that easy and because you can also pull images from your photo library you can also include your previously saved courtesy cards and have everything in one secure place.

Using these methods I will now be carrying just four cards in my wallet and my wife has reduced her card carrying by half. I spending $9.99 for an app that, among other things, allows me to streamline my wallet significantly? In my opinion YES, especially since eWallet does a whole lot more than that, as well.  

Aside: When you do streamline this much it makes Sena Case’s upcoming Walletskin case for the iPhone 3G a great option for ditching your standalone wallet entirely!

(Look for an upcoming review over on Just Another Mobile Monday)