Carrying a hundred credit, debit, gift, and membership cards around in your wallet is one of those things that we’ve always hoped would become archaic given enough time. We’ve been waiting many long years, and other than the ability to use PayPal at the point of purchase it looks like we’ll be waiting a while before ALL of our cards can be chucked. Coin is here to push forward the transition into electronic PoP sales, no rubber-banded stack of cards needed.
Coin operates mostly like an electronic credit card. It’s durable, magnet-proof, and water resistant. It is reportedly tough enough to survive life in your wallet, too. The first step in setting up the Coin is to use the included card-swipe dongle to swipe all of your cards with your smartphone. You also take pictures of the cards, allowing the app to store all of the necessary info about each.
When you want to make a purchase, you can select the card to use via a small button on Coin’s front. The button scrolls through all of the stored cards until you spot the one you need. You then swipe the card like any other credit card and the payment is debited from the chosen account. Up to eight cards can be stored on Coin at one time, but the smartphone app can store unlimited cards.
For security purposes, the Coin app will let you know if you walk away without your card – provided you have your smartphone with you. Coin doesn’t need the phone to be present in order to function, but it will de-activate itself after a pre-set amount of time away from your phone. The included battery should keep Coin going for about two years and can be replaced after that. The retail price is $50 for now while the project is in fundraising mode, but is expected to double once the card becomes commercially available.