Coin is the all-in-one credit card designed to slim down your wallet

By on November 14, 2013, 4:00 PM
credit card, mobile payments, coin, all-in-one credit card

Y Combinator-backed startup Coin is taking a new approach to mobile payments. Where others like Isis and Google Wallet are hell-bent on transforming your smartphone into a digital wallet, Coin is content to leave your phone alone and instead focus on what you already use to pay for things: a plastic card.

Coin is just that, a universal card that replaces all of your existing credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and membership cards. The idea is that you can use Coin to carry around all of these cards without the hassle of physically having them all on you at once.

Using the coin mobile app, you can swipe existing cards through a small dongle (provided) or simply snap a photo or two of it. After that, you can send the information to Coin or store it in the mobile app. Users can store an unlimited number of cards in the mobile app although only eight cards can be loaded onto Coin at any given time.

The physical card is the same size and shape of a traditional credit or debit card. There’s a display on the front and a button that is used to cycle through installed cards. Simply select the card you want during checkout and swipe it as you would any other card. Your smartphone can even send you a push notification if it detects the card is no longer with you which could be helpful if you left it behind somewhere.

Coin is available for pre-order as of writing for $50 plus shipping which is half off the normal price. Coin is initially only being offered in two color options – white or black – although CEO Kanishk Parashar said they are working on other designs that look and feel more like traditional cards. It’s not expected to ship until the summer of 2014, however.




User Comments: 20

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Cool! But many rewards cards have bar codes that are scanned, not magnetic strips that are swiped. I don't carry a wallet, I have a money clip, so something to slim it down would be very cool.

The downside of course, it that it would be much easier to carry around that old credit card I'm trying not to use anymore.

4 people like this | SolarisGuru SolarisGuru said:

So what happens when you hand this card to a waiter and they accidentally hit the button and change the card you want to use. It appeared as though all he had to do was press a button to change the card, so what's to stop a waiter from accidentally pressing it and using the wrong one?

1 person liked this | dennis777 dennis777 said:

Its a nice tech that will make evil villain's life very easy. "one card to steal them all"

Jackwoz said:

What about the cards that have a chip in them that you insert as opposed to swipe?

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Ha, card skimming used legitimately? I'd be interested in this I suppose - but what happens when PIN fails and you need to sign?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Some of my cards are a bar code. (Gym Membership, etc) This is a neat item, and I'd love more it if it had an E Ink display, like the one on a Nook, which could be scanned for those bar codes.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"Coin is the all-in-one credit card designed to slim down your wallet"

Although they aren't credit cards, Apple have been designing their products to do exactly the same thing to your wallet for years now. And rather successfully to the gullible I might add.

Forg0t2 said:

Hmm, I still prefer my 200+ cards in the wallet. They don't bother me. Besides it is common to use the chip instead of the swiping bar in our country which that card does not have, making it useless for 95 % of the cards...

1 person liked this | Guest said:

How have they addressed the inherent security flaws in swipe?

What about countries that use chip & pin?

What about when NFC/contact-less payment more wide spread?

MilwaukeeMike said:

What about the cards that have a chip in them that you insert as opposed to swipe?

Well, those cards are used in technologically advanced and more secure places like Canada. Here in the US, we're a bit behind and we don't have them yet. Maybe this will leapfrog that technology. This card could automatically disable if it's without of range of your phone if you set it to.

And no matter what, it's not going to work with machines that you have to insert your card into, like some ATMs and parking kiosks.

Guest said:

Funny how folks just read an article and then make comments without taking the time to follow up a little. A couple clicks and 30 seconds got me to FAQ responses that address what people have already mentioned above:

Q. Where can I use Coin?

A. You can use a Coin everywhere cards are accepted including dip-style card readers and ATMs. Use a Coin just like you use your cards now at gas stations, restaurants, the mall, the gym, or other places you frequent.Q. Will my Coin work outside the U.S.?A. Not in all cases.

U.S.-based customers: Coin will work overseas, but we recommend that you bring a backup card when you travel.

Customers located outside of the U.S.: Coin does not support EMV yet. If the country you live it requires it we recommend holding off your purchase for now.

Guest said:

Direct from their FAQ:

Q. Can someone accidentally change which card is selected on my Coin?

A. We've designed the button to toggle cards in a way that makes it difficult to trigger a "press" unintentionally. Dropping a Coin, holding a Coin, sitting on a Coin, or putting the Coin in a check presenter at a restaurant will not inadvertently toggle the card that is selected.

Guest said:

Ok...rather than answer all these qualms you lazy people have just go the FAQ and it answers 98% or more of your concerns, geesh.

https://onlycoin.com/support/faq/

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I've always wanted a card like this and have discussed it with many of my friends.

But in Europe I'd say at 95% of places you need to use the chip on your card when paying, so this wont work.

The fact that we require the chip here when paying is very well explained in the video, just look how easy it is to swipe a card!

Guest said:

You have to enter a PIN number (not shown in the video) before you can change the card.

Guest said:

It's worth noting that when purchasing this device, your credit card will be charged immediately although you should not expect shipment until sometime next summer. You will not be asked for a shipping address because according to the site "Anything can happen between now and next summer".

MrAnderson said:

So what happens when you hand this card to a waiter and they accidentally hit the button and change the card you want to use. It appeared as though all he had to do was press a button to change the card, so what's to stop a waiter from accidentally pressing it and using the wrong one?

I agree, that was the issue I have too. They should have a lock on the button with a PIN. There are a lot of good things people brought up, but I think this could evolve and the initial features are pretty good for the first unit. The button thing is a sticking point, and I would like to learn more about security. What will a store say if they don't recognize it. Does it display your name? Some place request your ID. Also, some places require the security code on the back if they have an online system. Lots of things to consider. I still hope it works out.

pmcardle said:

$55 to preorder or $105 if you wait until the summer of 2014. When the battery dies, the magnetic strip wears out, you break it or it gets wet, you'll need to fork out another $105 to purchase a new one (per their website's FAQ). Even though I like the technology and I could/would use one, I think I'll carry my original cards and pass on this until the price comes down to around $20 (or less).

ddelamare ddelamare said:

I love magnets, they wipe everything, including stupid ideas like this.

If you have 10 cards, your in dept. I have 2 and space to fit my mobile in the same pocket! (BOOM)

pmcardle said:

I love magnets, they wipe everything, including stupid ideas like this.

If you have 10 cards, your in dept. I have 2 and space to fit my mobile in the same pocket! (BOOM)

I have many cards (8 to 10) that I use for special purposes like 0% interest for several months. Every card is paid in full and I would only carry a balance when I get a 0% deal (Best Buy, Home Depot, HHGregs, etc...). Having one of these could be could be beneficial to me but the price is just way out of line.

wholesalestunna wholesalestunna said:

I agree, that was the issue I have too. They should have a lock on the button with a PIN. There are a lot of good things people brought up, but I think this could evolve and the initial features are pretty good for the first unit. The button thing is a sticking point, and I would like to learn more about security. What will a store say if they don't recognize it. Does it display your name? Some place request your ID. Also, some places require the security code on the back if they have an online system. Lots of things to consider. I still hope it works out.

Apparently you're supposed to be able to lock the card so the button can't get pressed to switch cards with your cell phone. I agree though that it looks like there could be a lot of issues to face once they hit the street. It sounds like it'd be a better tool for those that steal credit card numbers and make their own fake cards.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.