Despite the rise and rise of all things electronic, e-cash has never really taken off - retailers and banks resisted and customers lacked interest.
But now WearLogic, a start-up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, has teamed up with French software house Welcome Real-time to make SmartWear, a leather wallet with a removable Gemplus smart card, an XML browser platform, and the ability to amalgamate your credit card accounts into one neat package.
What's more, it can pick up bonus points or discounts at checkout terminals and vending machines. It could revitalise point-of-sale promotions by putting them online.
SmartWear could help people dispense with most of their magnetic stripe cards. 'Industrial-strength privacy management' should ensure that repeated electronic registering of your behaviour as a customer does not encourage third-party intrusion. That's just as well.