Companies have long tried and failed to reinvent the credit card, from Google Wallet to the finally-released Isis, but why fix something that isn't broke? That's the premise behind Coin, a startup that arose from a learned-that-the-hard-way blunder to create something that, you know, is actually re-inventive.
By consolidating your preexisting credit, debit and member loyalty cards into a single unit, Coin aims to reduce wallet clutter and simplify transactions without losing the familiarity of swiping an actual card.
An unlimited number of cards can be scanned into the Coin app for storage, but only eight different cards can be loaded and stored inside your Bluetooth-enabled Coin card at any given time. A small, calculator-typefaced screen on the upper right corner of the credit-card sized Coin device displays your name, card security codes and expiration for transaction verification. The other side of the Coin has a magnetic stripe, just like a traditional card — and it's even shock and water resistant, making it more durable than plastic.
128-bit encryption is set in place to secure the transferred and stored data, and Coin's Bluetooth connection with your phone ensures you'll never forget your device on a restaurant check. Should you leave Coin behind, it will automatically send a push message to your phone when you go out of range (though you'd be out of luck if you left your phone there, too). An unlock code can be used when your phone is out of juice or if Bluetooth just isn't working.
The card contains a built-in, non replaceable battery that purportedly lasts two years. It also will not demagnetize in the presence of other cards, magnets or electronics. Currently, the card is accepting pre-orders of $50 in lieu of crowdfunding, with a retail price of $100 once it launches. Considering our cards are already provided to us free of charge, that's quite a tall order. Maybe they should also offer a reward system for using Coin to offset our soon-to-be empty wallets?