Coin is Trying to Bring Credit Card Payments into the Future

Coin,-Inc.-Horizontal-BrandThere have been attempts to unify all of your payment methods in the past using Near Field Communication technology (NFC).  However, NFC really hasn’t caught on like some had expected.  Coin is trying to bring to market a truly universal product that will unify all of your credit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards into one swipeable card.

The problem with NFC technology is that it requires the merchant to have special hardware on-hand in order to accept an NFC payment from your mobile phone using Google Wallet.  The folks at Coin saw this problem and decided to design a credit card that can hold up to 8 of your credit cards, loyalty cards or gift cards.  These cards are selectable on the Coin card using an LCD screen and button on the card.  Then, this card can be swiped through any existing credit card machine with no special hardware or knowledge required.  This makes the Coin something that can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted.  It’s a no-brainer for me and a simple way to really pare down the thickness of my wallet.

coin_productYour Coin card will come with a swiping accessory for your phone that will allow you to swipe your credit card information into your phone.  Then you take a picture of the front and back of your cards.  Once your credit cards are in the Coin app on your phone, you can sync the cards you want on your Coin with your Coin card.  I suspect that the Coin app will have pretty decent security so that if your phone is stolen all of your credit cards aren’t stolen as well.  The app can hold an infinite number of gift cards, credit cards, and loyalty cards.  The Coin card itself will only be able to hold 8 cards at a time.

There are some downsides to the Coin, however.  Firstly, an LCD readout and the electronics that send the signal to the magnetic strip require a power source.  This power source will be a non-rechargeable battery that is said to last two years.  Once the two year lifespan is up, you will have to purchase a new Coin.  So, essentially at full price, the cost of combining all of your credit cards into one Coin will be $50 per year.  The other worry is that if someone steals this one card, they have access to all of your credit cards.  However, my feeling on this is that if my wallet is stolen, the offender would have access to all those cards anyway.

coin_640_medium_The Coin is available for preorder for $50 plus $5 shipping, which is 50% off the eventual full price of $100.  The Coin will be shipping in the summer of 2014 barring any major setbacks.  After your preorder, you will be given a referral link that you can share with friends.  If your friend preorders the Coin using your link, you’ll get $5 off.

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About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.

6 Comments on "Coin is Trying to Bring Credit Card Payments into the Future"

  1. I wonder how likely it would be for Google to acquire them.

    • I actually don’t think it’s very likely. I think Google is still working on Google Wallet and NFC technology and I don’t think they’ll give up on that yet.

      • Even after the announcement of the Google Wallet card that only lets you use your Wallet account balance? Being able to have a single card that could stand in for multiple cards and allow you two switch between them at any time was what the original Wallet card was rumored to be.

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