Introducing Coin: The Last and Only "Credit Card" You Need To Carry
ONLY COIN IS NO MORE. PLEASE SEE THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE INFORMATION AND CONSIDER THIS ARTICLE NOTHING MORE THAN A HISTORICAL RECORD.
If your wallet or purse is overloaded with credit cards, debit cards and store loyalty cards, you’re not alone. Many of us carry 4 or more credit cards plus a slew of other cards used to pay for things and to earn points by shopping at your favorite store. As for me, I have 7 total cards. Tech giants such as Google have attempted to replace these cards by offering mobile solutions like Google Wallet, but the inherent problem with these systems is that they all need specific hardware at the time of purchase.
Try getting your local bar to adopt PayPass and/or NFC support and you’ll quickly see how limited its use can be. So how do you reduce the number of cards people have to carry without forcing nationwide changes at the point of sale? Change the card, not the system.
Coin, Inc. is a developing company that aimed to do just that and from what I can see, they are on to something hot. They decided to create a credit card sized device that can store all* of your much needed payment cards including store loyalty cards. Everything syncs with a mobile app that’s available for Android and iOS users and the card actually communicates with your phone via low-powered Bluetooth.
*The app itself can store an unlimited amount of cards, but you can only select 8 to be synced with your device at any one time.
The first batch of cards are expected to be shipped by the summer of 2014 and will cost $100, but if you pre-order now within the next 25 days, you can get your hands on Coin for only $50 plus $5 shipping.
How It Works
You can check out the company’s FAQ for the answers to more specific questions, but their video can help you understand everything in under 2 minutes.
It wouldn’t be fair not to list Coin’s shortcomings, so here are the things I feel will be deal breakers for some.
- Price — Coin will cost $100 after the pre-order window is closed. That’s a hefty price for anyone just to reduce your card count.
- Lifespan — In order to function, Coin uses battery power. In order to get the card to be as slim as it is, the battery is non-replaceable. As a result, every 2 years or so you have to buy a new Coin.
- Online purchases — The main benefit to Coin is the ability to condense multiple swipe-able cards into one single swipe-able card. However, when online shopping, you just need the card number and Coin does not show you the whole number. However, the app can be used to view all saved card information.
- Acceptance – Some retailers still ask for ID when using a credit card. Although Coin will have your name printed on the back with a signature box, some stores might be leery about accepting it due to its non-traditional appearance.
I wonder if the price of a replacement Coins will be cheaper for those who have already purchased one. Otherwise, you’re looking at a $100 expense every two years or so just to clean up your wallet. Also, you must consider that you may not know or even be alerted when the battery is dying or has already died. This may leave you stranded at a time when you needed it most. Of course you could always carry a backup card, but wasn’t getting a Coin supposed to keep you from having to doing that in the first place?!
My Two Cents
I ordered one. As an early adopter of almost all tech, I of course needed this device! However, I can say that I probably would not have picked one up if the price was $100, although the security features might make up for the cost. As far as real world testing, we’ll obviously have to wait and see how it pans out this summer, but from what I see, this device has tons of promise.
If you’re still interested, pre-order your Coin now before the price goes back up to $100!
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