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Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Lost Your Wallet? Comfort Found

The Key Smart wallet-sized carry-all may be next missing piece for peace of mind in travel

What’s in your wallet? Well, I can tell you what’s in mine … and yes, a Capital One credit card might be among the flotsam I cannot access smoothly without business cards, bank cards, insurance cards, money and receipts flying out of tight, mis-designed pockets. Keeping track of that wallet is another tale of woe, solved after several mishaps with a jiggered plastic connection coil attached to purse or pockets that only allows me to move my wallet six inches from whatever the attachment. My wallet and I are not friends. And we shall soon be parted to make room for what I hope becomes my new BFF: the Key Smart Travel Wallet.

I would say this wallet does it all, but then I would be lying. It does not connect to my purse or pocket through my coveted personal plastic coil system. Rather, it takes a Tile – the anti-Luddite answer to finding anything you value these days through the click of an app. So, in this case, you might say the Key Smart Travel Wallet does more than all and that is why it gets to have a place in Business Traveler USA’s Tried & Tested gallery of smart choices.

In a nutshell, the tough 4×6-inch carry-all does just about that: carry all. For travelers that means, perhaps carrying the most important of items – the passport … and this wallet fits two of them, along with boarding passes, credit cards, driver’s license, document pen, cash and kitchen sink. The material is tougher than leather and is water resistant even if your documents are not. Then, an occupied Tile pocket ensures that if you lose your wallet you will at least be able to locate it exactly where it is – even if that place is not where you left it. As for more corrosive theft – digital theft — the Key Smart Travel Wallet has that covered, too.

For those of us who treat our wallets like we treat our closets, having an oversized organization wallet like the Key Smart option is a game changer. While I have been chided for my overflowing contents that fall out like popcorn whenever I have to rifle around in this dark place, the Key Smart item exacts the opposite comments and a certain envy for being able to keep cash and travel contents together in one safe place – and keep track of them. For me it means a lot less fumbling at the security check point, boarding the air plane, dealing with the currency-change teller or hotel registration desk. The wallet is big enough so I can find it quickly in my purse or carry-on (too many pure panic moments to recount of holding up lines while looking for passports or boarding passes in places where I thought I had put them); it’s resistant to the tough environments I put it through: getting run over on the street, left on the porch in the rain; left near a heater or in a humid bathroom; I can find am ID card without removing all the cards; I can access a note of currency without causing all the rest of my cash to fly where it will. And it has a pen.

RFID Reconsidered

The RFID protection element is something I had not had time to consider until now – mostly because I did not have a wallet that offered that protection. However, in this pandemic year, I have been successfully scammed once and nearly scammed a half a dozen other times through digital purchases and services, and those were just the ones of which I was aware. With amped up fraud afoot in the world I have every reason to indulge this extra, nearly non-conscious, point of security.

Many companies offer debit, credit, and smartcards for contactless purchases. These cards have a radio RFID chip (frequency identification) embedded, providing wireless communication to identify the card. As the practice of “contactless” purchasing and financial interactions have taken a front and center position this past year as a desirable function to be able to employ, so has digital theft taken a ride on the ascending protocol.

Consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019, according to recent figures from the Federal Trade Commission. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers. Just over a third of all consumers who filed a fraud report with the FTC — 34 percent — reported losing money, up from just 23 percent in 2019.

Never has there been a better time to be more wary of digital fraud in all of its nefarious manifestations.

Certainly old fashioned theft is on the rise as well – purses taken from shoulders on the street, wallets removed from pockets. While having a Tile does not guarantee reclaiming your possessions, it makes it harder to lose through innocent misplacement and offers an edge on the possibility of identifying a thief.

Wallet Lost and Found

The Tile is not new. It has been making its way around electronics- and digital-focused conferences for the better part of a decade, improving its product, securing funding, picking up partners and adding a phalanx of functionality with a system that solves item misplacement and tracking needs. The classic Tile product is a thumb-sized square with a hole that will allow it to be secured to a purse or bag. It can be used for or in its larger card-sized option with the Key Smart Travel Wallet in a purpose-designed wallet pocket.

In the event of loss, you consult the downloaded app, click on Find and the Tile will ring to lead you to the lost item – your wallet. But say you lose your phone but you have your wallet. Click the Tile twice and the chip will make your phone ring, even if the phone is on silent. And if you have your phone but you cannot locate your purse or wallet – no ring on the Find command – the app brings up a map and locates that last place you were … and where your wallet likely remains. Still can’t find your wallet? The Tile can set an alert to Tile holders nearby the last location to look for the item and ping you.

  • TecTuff® Leather stays white with water-resistant, anti-scratch & stain-proof material
  • 360° RFID protection to protect against digital theft
  • Includes personal pen to fill out customs papers
  • Quick-flip passport pocket to breeze through security
  • Holds up to 9 cards + passports + boarding pass + cash+ sim card tool & more
  • Never lose wallet with Tile™ slim pocket

The Key Smart Travel Wallet retails for $119 on its site and on Amazon but has an array of other wallets, bags and key organizing solutions at varying price points. The Tile accessory is extra. The peace of mind and convenience of use, priceless.