How Did I Just Find Out About CardStar?

The other day at work I was ringing up a customer, and when I asked for his membership card, he pulled out his iPhone, opened an app and I was able to scan a barcode on his phone to gather his member details. Naturally, being an MCDMer, I had to ask him 20 questions about his cool “shopping” app.

CardStar offers a convenient way to store all of the cards that plague your wallet or purse, by digitizing them, and adding a barcode that can easily be scanned at checkout. Upon launching the app, you begin by adding your cards, either digital (which is a VERY small list of participating partners) or plastic. Adding a plastic card offers you a list of partners to choose from, and if you don’t see the institution you’re looking for, you have the option to add a card number manually, or scan the barcode with your phones camera.

And it’s as simple as that. Eliminate the need to carry around all those cards, and never have to remember to bring that one random card you use twice a year (e.g. Costco). CardStar has relatively extensive list of preloaded companies to choose from that I’m assuming they have contacted, however I only added seven cards, and I had to create “custom cards” for four of them. The custom card making process is very simple, but it would be nice to see a few more companies pre-loaded, such as Nordstrom and USAA.

Another issue that left me perplexed was the claim on the App Store that the app would not work with self-checkout kiosks, or “belt scanners”. I found this out the hard way when I was helping the customer at REI. I had originally began the transaction with a mobile POS, but once it came time to scan the barcode from his screen, the device would not read it! I was forced to input the number manually, which still worked out great for the customer, but, from a retail standpoint, this defeats the purpose of the app. These two types of payment are becoming increasingly prevalent in our connected society, why would someone develop an app that is not compatible with the newest checkout technologies? Sounds like somewhat of a mobile fail to me, however the app has other redeeming qualities that manage to make up for what it lacks.

It’s obvious CardStar has a lot of room for growth, and the few flaws I’ve discovered thus far could be easily remedied by future updates, I would imagine. The real value of this app for me, personally, is having those cards I only need once in a while, such as my insurance card, at the ready when I might be on the side of the road with engine troubles and need to give someone my member number, without having to carry around seven cards all the time. I am a huge fan of the minimalist wallet, which is why I can’t believe I’m just hearing of CardStar now. Check it out!



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3 responses to “How Did I Just Find Out About CardStar?”

  1. Kim Sklar says :

    Downloading now! Maybe this will inspire me to clean out my wallet. A long over due chore.

  2. Kelly McIvor says :

    I wonder if the scanning problems with the “belt scanners”, self check-out and others is because of the phone screen. I know there are perennial problems with mobile coupon scanning due to the glass phone screen and reflection and refraction of the lights used to scan. I think this was one reason Starbucks installed all new scanners in order to support their mobile app. Like you say, if the retailer needs to key in every code there’s very little internal reason to support mobile barcodes.

  3. SavingStar (@SavingStar) says :

    If you like Cardstar, you might want to check out SavingStar as well – digital grocery coupons linked to store loyalty cards…

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