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Coin combines multiple cards in one device

By

November 14, 2013

Coin stores and provides access to electronic versions of your cards

Coin stores and provides access to electronic versions of your cards

Although things like NFC-enabled smartphones are making this less of an issue, the fact is that most of us still carry around a wallet full of credit, debit, loyalty or other cards that we routinely have to rifle through. That's why the Coin was invented. It's a single card-shaped device, on which all your other cards can be stored and accessed electronically.

Upon first getting the Coin, users start by attaching an included card-swipe dongle to their iOS or Android smartphone (or tablet), then using it to swipe their cards – they also use the phone's camera to take a photos of those cards. This process allows the information for each card to be stored on the phone, via a dedicated app. That data is then transferred from the phone to the Coin, where it's protected by 128-bit encryption.

The app also lets users add or delete cards, as needed. Up to eight cards can be stored on the Coin at once.

When users subsequently need to pay for something, they just press a central button on the Coin to toggle through the stored cards, with the name of each one appearing on a small LCD display. When they get to the one they want, they just swipe the Coin like they would normally, anywhere that regular cards are accepted – a chip-and-pin version isn't available yet, but it's apparently in the works.

The phone that was used to set up the Coin doesn't have to powered up, or in the vicinity. If you're carrying it with you, however, the app will alert you with an audio alarm if you walk away without the card. Additionally, the Coin will deactivate itself if it loses contact with the phone, after a pre-selected time span has elapsed.

An included replaceable battery should keep the Coin running for two years of "normal usage." The card is also shock- and water-resistant, and won't demagnetize in the presence of magnetic cards.

The designers of the Coin are now independently crowd-funding its commercial production. A pledge of US$50 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. Shipping is expected to begin next summer (Northern Hemisphere), at which point the cards will retail for $100.

The Coin can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: Coin

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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9 Comments

Seems like the lack of a signature panel may be a problem with some vendors. Often when using my credit cards, the cashier will request my card to either see my signature on the back or to compare that signature to the one printed on my drivers license. How does Coin intend to deal with this possibility?

Tom Raguar
14th November, 2013 @ 03:32 pm PST

Signature panel could be placed easily on Coin too like on any plastic card. Significant issue however that such payment with Coin counts as a card present or card not present transaction. They mentioned at the beginning of the article that the NFC enabled phones are capable for similar bank card data storage but the swipe. Therefore Coin could be an extension of an NFC capable smartphone and a secure mobilepayment solution.

monorigabor
15th November, 2013 @ 03:53 am PST

A clear rip-off of a company called NXT-ID

Rocky Stefano
15th November, 2013 @ 07:43 am PST

"he card is also shock- and water-resistant..." It needs to be "sat upon" resistant to find a home in my wallet.

Adding another physical device to my collection isn't a good solution. Google Wallet (and many similar) does the job and commercial acceptance is only a matter of a few years.

piperTom
15th November, 2013 @ 08:18 am PST

The article says "Up to eight cards can be stored on the Coin at once."

The video says "Store as many cards as you like"

@Tom Raguar, Federal and state law declare that a retailer may not require ID to use a credit card, and you are not able to show a signature when making a purchase online, through the mail or on the phone.

[Users can store as many cards as they like on their phone via the app, but the card itself currently holds a maximum of eight - Ed.]

Tom Arr
15th November, 2013 @ 10:18 am PST

great idea, but is it going to use a flexible OLED? I think my fat ar$e would crush that card. Better be flexible!

Mark McGraw
15th November, 2013 @ 10:52 am PST

Is the card magnetically aligned to a different account by each click of a button, or just one virtual account number command to this new companies server who now stores all of your credit and debit cards and then sends the merchant your choice?

Miks Stiefel
19th November, 2013 @ 04:16 am PST

What about card with embedded chips?

All my cards have embedded chips, the card needs to be swiped and then scanned to process the payment. Chips have a unique id that's registered with the banks and other security info, how would this thing manage?

Vita
19th November, 2013 @ 11:01 am PST

I was interested in getting one of these, although really I think I might need the chip and pin variety which is said to be coming later.

Unfortunately when I 'clicked through' to the coin website, all I found was a payment page (apart from the same video you show here). Hence I was not able to ask any questions or seek more information...so I gave up.

Coin might also be interested to know that, as a matter of principle, I never deal with any company that does not show a street address on its web site...or with web sites that take your credit card details first then provide information later.

It's a pity. I could have been a sponsor.

Alien
22nd November, 2013 @ 08:54 am PST
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