The Coin Card Replaces 8 Credit, Debit & Rewards Cards Stuffing your Wallet
The Coin card is a credit card-sized device that stores account information for credit, debit and rewards cards so you do not have to carry them in your wallet. It has a simple LCD screen and a button you use to choose the account. When it comes time to make a purchase, you select which account you want to use, then swipe the card in the merchant's card reader, like you would any other card.
How Coin Card Works
Start by downloading the Coin app on your iPhone or Android smart phone. The app stores your credit, debit, or rewards card information, and takes a picture of the card. The Coin card is limited to storing information on up to eight cards, but the app can store the information for as many account as you need.
The Coin card has a Bluetooth receiver. This allows the Coin card to disable itself if it cannot "phone home" to your smart phone for a time you specify. You do not need your phone to use the card, but Coin's maker assumes most people shopping also have their smartphone nearby.
When you reach the check-stand, you decide which card to use by scrolling through your choices. Swipe the card as if it was a regular, old credit card, and the transaction will proceed as if you were using your issued card.
The app is password-protected, so if someone steals your phone, they will have to guess your password to access your account details.
Coin Card's Limitations
Coin card may have limited use outside of the US. The Card itself is not password-protected, but if you set your Bluetooth phone-home timeout short enough, thieves will have to hurry before the Card times itself out and locks itself.
Coin card’s maker hopes the device will have a two-year life. It is water resistant, but not water proof, so if you wash your Card, you need to buy a new one.
The biggest drawback of Coin is that the card is expected to cost $50 to $100 each. The maker claims it will be available in the summer of 2014. You can pre-order your card at the Coin Card home page at OnlyCoin.com. As of mid-July 2014, the card is not yet shipping.
- Coin is accepting pre-orders now.
- The Coin device has not yet shipped, so no one knows for certain if it functions as promised.
- The $50 to $100 cost is steep unless you place a high value on carrying a wafer-thin wallet.