At only three grams, RFID-proof wallet Vinco will fit into your pocket unnoticed and it will keep your bank cards secure. To learn more, we spoke with Sam Andrews from Vinco team:
Q: Where did the idea for Vinco come from and what convinced you that there was a market need for it?
A: The team consists of three of us (Myself and brothers Ibbe and Jalil, all of us studying at university in York and Leeds U.K.). After I was unknowingly a victim to card skimming or otherwise known as RFID theft, I was at a loss of what to do. All three of us have always experimented with innovative solutions, so after I presented my predicament to Ibbe (I.T Student) and Jalil (Physics Student) we researched into what solutions were available. After carrying thorough due-diligence on existing RFID blocking wallets we were irritated at many companies claiming to be ‘Minimalists’ yet the wallets they were offering were the antithesis of their statements. We wanted to produce a wallet that was user friendly, true to its word (minimalism) and elegant to the eye.
Q: You say that you want to help raise awareness on the issue of contactless theft, which most people don’t really understand. Why do you view it as a major issue?
A: Cleary contactless theft hit a chord with the Vinco team as it directly affected us through being a victim to it. Whilst carrying out background research in preparation to creating Vinco we were staggered at the sheer amount of news articles, blogs and magazines all calling for a solution to this issue. Many companies were also offering completely long winded remedies such a trousers that incorporate RFID blocking material. A Forbes article outlining all the dangers and problems associated with card skimming concluded all the proof we needed that this really is a big problem and that Vinco could prevail.
Q: How did you go about testing it?
A: To field test the wallet against RFID fraud we used the science labs at Jalil’s university to measure if any RFID waves could breach the finished wallet. After a variety of tests to provoke a breach they all came back negative in the sense no RFID frequency waves passed through into the wallet. We also gave it to a sample of fellow student, family and friends to test usability and functionality. We measured Vinco as being able to fit 7 cards and a few folded bills. In addition it was measured as weighing only 3 grams and 30 percent thinner when compared to a single bank card. These stats held up when we asked our samples if they agreed or disagreed with those figures in a survey they completed during the trial usage. They had no prior access to any of the statistics we measured so this gave us great confidence in Vinco.
Q: Could you run through the crowdfunding process, e.g. what lead you down this path, how you have found it etc?
A: When Jalil was a little younger he used the crowd sourcing platform namely Kickstarter to trial an origami wallet. Through no promotion or exposure he made £400 which set a good precedent to work from in terms of how to use crowdfunding more effectively in the future. We believe crowdfunding is an ideal way to showcase your product and directly share it with a like-minded community. It acts as a virtual hub for people to come and explore and critique your product instead of us getting up in people’s faces or cold calling on the streetas has been done by many before the internet took over. In terms of how we have found it; the experience has been very challenging in terms of constantly having to ‘look after’ the campaign day & night. To use the metaphor of a new born baby you need toinsure its watered, fed and clothed etc. at all hours. Likewise with our campaign ensuring it is constantly being updated, interlinked with social media every few hours and generally trying to promote it any every way, shape and form. Yet this is a challenge we have relished!
Q: How do you plan to sell the product and what is the retail price?
A: A single Vinco is retailed at $25 or £16 which we feel is affordable and extremely reasonable to say being a Victim of skimming could set you back a heck of a lot more. Free shipping is being offered for Vinco world-wide and we are just finalising the choice of packaging, as we speak to compliment the design of Vinco.
Q: Future plans for Vinco?
A: We are looking to raise in the region of $20, 000 from our crowdfunding campaign. Reaching this figure would allow us to commit much more time and effort to truly creating a solid and operable business. We have chosen the name ‘Vinco Life’ to be the umbrella name for the company if things go to plan and we reach our intended goal. For us we intend to make Vinco wallets the first in a class of many minimalistic products to come in the future.Activate Social Media: