New Money Tech: The Coin

Living & Spending
on February 18, 2014

coin credit card

At three hundredths of an inch thick, there’s a razor thin, midnight black power player preparing to change the way we think about day-to-day currency. The Coin doesn’t officially debut until summer 2014, but the super sleek digital card promises to wrap all of your credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and reward cards into one very tiny, very smart package.

Coin is the brainchild of developer Kanishk Parashar, a Johns Hopkins engineering alum and one of Forbes’ 2013 startup gurus of the year. With AmEx black card good looks and personal engraving, the all-in-one digital card will use low-power Bluetooth technology to constantly sync with your smart phone.

Consumers simply use an enclosed card reader to swipe card information into the Coin app and can load an infinite amount of purchasing options onto the digital dynamo. Selecting a charging option is as simple as clicking the card’s singular button.

Putting all of your monetary eggs in a single basket might be off-putting to security conscious consumers, and understandably so, but the techies at Coin claim to have you covered. Since Coin constantly communicates with your smart phone, it is designed to alert you if your card is more than 25 feet away. Cardholders can even configure a period of time for the card to deactivate itself in the event that it’s away from the configured smart phone due to loss or theft.

After massive data breaches at respected outfits like Adobe and Target, the Coin team is also selling a dedication to safeguarding your information. The company has opted not to store any sensitive details on their servers to reduce opportunities for fraudulent activity.

Coin cards might look delicate, but are promised to withstand airport security scans, magnetic money clips, even spilt cocktails. The $100 product seems ideal for travelers and forward-thinking consumers looking to consolidate their purchasing power. However, on the already apparent downside, the Coin battery is not yet rechargeable—so consumers can expect to purchase a new Coin every two years.

Critics are hailing this product as the Ipod of personal finance, meaning it is the first product of its kind to use novel design and new technology to alter daily transactions. Google and major credit card companies have tried unsuccessfully to make digital wallets a consumer favorite by relying too heavily on a phone-based experience, while the Coin experience still allows consumers to “put it on the plastic”—with an added dash of digital.

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