A passcase wallet is usually a bifold wallet that has an extra flap for an ID window. The flap can be attached to the top of the wallet and flip up, or it can be attached to the side of the wallet and flip outward, or it can be removable.
A passcase wallet has a couple of advantages. First, it places the ID window on the interior of the wallet. As we mention in almost all of our reviews, the plastic on an ID window is usually less durable than the leather the wallet is made of. It dents, tears, and punctures quite easily, especially when the window is placed on the outside of the wallet, where it’s exposed to more wear.
By placing the ID window on the inside of the wallet, the plastic is better protected while the passcase flap gives you the versatility of having an outside window.
Which brings us to the second advantage of a passcase wallet. Why do people prefer to have exterior ID windows? One reason is convenience. You don’t have to open your wallet to show your ID. The other reasons deal with security and privacy.
An exterior window or a passcase allows you to show your driver’s license, work badge, or student ID without showing the person checking your ID everything that’s in your wallet. It helps protect the contents of your wallet from the eyes of people who might be tempted to help themselves to your cash or cards.
If someone sees what you have, they might become interested in following you or look for an opportunity to take your wallet. This applies to people checking your ID and others behind or around you while you open your wallet for the ID checker. It’s much safer to quickly flip the flap of the passcase and keep the rest of your wallet closed.
Besides safeguarding your belongings, a passcase wallet also safeguards your privacy. Even if you don’t have anything embarrassing in your wallet, do you really need the person checking your ID to know what bank you use, what credit cards you carry, and where you shop? No one needs to be privy to that information. They don’t need to see your insurance information or pictures of your wife and kids. Keep all of those details in your wallet while you flip the flap to show only what needs to be seen.
A passcase also guards the privacy of your ID. If you have an outside window for your ID, everyone can see your name, birthdate, and other personal information on top of the not-so-great photo of you featured on your ID every time you take your wallet out of your pocket. With a passcase, you only show your ID to people who need to see it. You can even get a passcase with the ID window facing inward so that when you open your wallet, your ID is still covered.
So, the advantages of a passcase wallet are that it hides both your wallet’s contents and your cards from view while also helping the ID window to last longer because it’s protected inside the wallet.
When you’re shopping for a passcase wallet, there are a few specific factors to consider regarding the flap itself. If you’ve never owned a passcase wallet, imagine what it will be like to use it with the help of these questions.
Do you want the passcase flap to be removable? Some designs have a small tab that fits between the layers of leather on the top or side of the wallet. To remove the passcase, you simply pull the tab out. There are two advantages of this type of passcase. One is that you don’t have to open your wallet at all to show your ID. Simply pull the flap out from the top or side of your wallet, present your ID, and then slide the tab back in.
The second advantage is that you can slim your wallet down when you don’t need the flap portion. Perhaps you get a new job where you don’t need to show your badge every day, or it’s the weekend, and you prefer to just carry your driver’s license in one of the other pockets instead of keeping the whole passcase on you. Removable flaps give you the option to use the wallet as a regular bifold while keeping the flap at home.
Some passcase wallets have card slots on the back of the flap. Others have a second ID window. A third option is to have nothing on the back of the flap.
Card slots on the back of the flap help by adding capacity to the wallet. You can fit more cards. Why not take advantage of the space? Of course, if you put cards on the back of the flap, you’ll also be exposing those cards to view every time you flip the flap to show your ID. If you want to have more card slots, you might want to keep business cards or shopper’s cards on the back of the flap, cards that aren’t tempting and don’t’ reveal any personal information.
A second ID window on the back is helpful because you can put your driver’s license in one side and your work badge or student ID in the other side. You can easily show whichever ID you need to whenever you need to.
The advantage of the third option, having a plain backside to the flap, is that it guards your privacy. With nothing on the back, there’s nothing for anyone to see. You can show your ID and know that you’re not showing anything else.
When the flap is inside your wallet, it will most likely be covering something up. Maybe there are interior card slots beneath the flap. Maybe there’s a coin or key pouch. Every time you want to get to those cards or items, you’ll have to flip the flap out of the way. When you flip the flap, you’ll be exposing your ID and anything on the back of the flap to view. Think about what you can put behind the flap that you won’t need to access very often to avoid the inconvenience of moving the flap. The best design might be one that doesn’t have anything behind the flap.
After you’ve decided on what should be on the back of passcase and what should be behind it, you can envision what it will be like to have the flap flipping up or flipping out. If you want card slots on the back, it might be best to have the flap flip out to the side. Flipping the flap up will turn the cards upside down. If the pockets are loose, the cards could slip out.
If the flap flips outward, you’ll have to turn your wallet to show your ID as a flip-out flap will have it at a 90-degree angle.
Though not specific to passcase wallets, an additional security measure you might want to have included is RFID protection. Almost all credit, bank, ID, key, and pass cards operate via radio frequency identification (RFID). Even store or facility membership cards use it. The way a card reader accesses information from the card is by scanning it with radio frequencies.
The alarming news is that you don’t need to insert your card into a reader for someone to be able to scan your cards. You don’t need to hold it up to a reader. A person with an inexpensive radio frequency scanner can obtain the information from any of your RFID cards from a distance. The radio frequencies pass through your clothes and through the material of your wallet.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? You can purchase a wallet with RFID protection. Passcase wallets and other wallet types that include RFID protection have a metallic mesh insert between the layers of the pockets. The mesh blocks the radio frequencies.
If you want a wallet that blocks personal and financial information but you still want to use your key or pass cards through your wallet, purchase one that blocks the 13.56 MHz frequency only. If you want full protection, opt for one that also blocks the 125 kHz frequency.
You can also find wallets that block one or both frequencies in some of the pockets, but not all so that you can decide what information is protected and what is accessible to remote card readers.
The alternative to RFID blocking being included in your passcase wallet is to purchase separate sleeves for your cards. The sleeves will also have some sort of metallic interference, depending on the brand. You can slide your cards into the sleeves and then insert the sleeves into your card pockets. It’s an extra step that reduces the overall capacity of your wallet, but it’s better than not having RFID blocking at all.
A passcase wallet is a versatile style of wallet. It safeguards your privacy for privacy’s sake and to keep your wallet’s contents out of the view of potential thieves. To get the most out of your passcase wallet, think about how you will use it. Do you want the flap to be removable? What should go on the back of the flap? Should it flip up or out? Does it include RFID protection?
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