Coin, the all-in-one card

Coin is an editable card that holds all of your credit/debit and loyalty cards. Fascinating.

  • I need to read slower. I was wondering what the benefit of an “edible” card would be.

    • Easy. Order your meal, enjoy it. When it is time to pay, just burp and the correct amount will transfer from your bank account to the restaurant’s.

  • Matt

    Hopefully they implement chip & pin and bring it to Canada soon!

    • But Canadians can still use swipe tech to buy products. The Chip & Pin is convenient but not a requirement.

      • After my recent trip to the UK, I lament the absence of chip & pin here in the US.

  • Gedeon Maheux

    Does it have to be charged? How much does it cost to replace it if you lose or break it?

    • Drew R

      Their FAQ states that the card cannot be charged and has a lifespan of two years. After these two years, or if you lose or break it, you will have to purchase a new one. They currently have a pre-order special of $50 but the Coin will normally cost $100.

  • ttwice

    Does it show the CCV code? Seems as though the waiter in this movie (or clerk elsewhere) could easily hit the change card button either by accident or by curiosity and change which card to be charged.

    • Matt Gillette

      From their FAQ: Q. Can someone accidentally change which card is selected on my Coin? A. We’ve designed the button to toggle cards in a way that makes it difficult to trigger a “press” unintentionally. Dropping a Coin, holding a Coin, sitting on a Coin, or putting the Coin in a check presenter at a restaurant will not inadvertently toggle the card that is selected.

      But that said – a waiter might be interested and intentionally push the button since they haven’t seen it before. Also why no replaceable battery?

      Another thing I’d like is it only works when in range of your phone – so if someone manages to steal your wallet (but not your phone) it would be useless.

      • Joe

        I really liked your last idea, and it turns out the Coin people did, too (from their FAQ):

        Q. What if I lose my Coin or someone steals it? A. In the event that your Coin loses contact with your phone for a period of time that you configure in the Coin mobile app, it will automatically deactivate itself.


      • Luděk Roleček

        Why not replacable battery? It’s a card. How would you change the battery that’s probably thick as a folded piece of paper? It literally has to be cast inside the plastic.

        • “Why not replacable battery?”

          Because then they couldn’t charge you another $100.

      • Vera Comment

        “Also why no replaceable battery” it works in ATMs. there’s not a lot of room there. Battery probably not serviceable to maintain thickness.

        and if you wander out of range of your phone, the card deactivates (and pings your phone – in case you leave the card somewhere)

      • joemako

        as for what is stopping a waiter from pushing the button, they answered this on twitter:

  • KevinT

    Bring it. I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t just go into banking. They could reinvent Wall St and modern currency overnight.

  • The White Tiger

    Read about this the other day and have been mulling over preordering one, but I am really reluctant because of the battery.

    Two years is pretty good, but what happens if it fails before two years? Am I entitled to some sort of replacement? Most likely not if it lasts 23 months or something, but what about 20? 18? 12? I’d be pretty pissed not to be entitled to a replacement or partial refund.

    Another problem is that I don’t think they’ve mentioned if there’s a battery indicator (or at least a low battery warning, like the Pebble). If there isn’t one, that’s tremendously bad. Imagine if you’re out and about, decide to use it, and surprise– the battery’s dead, and you don’t have any physical cards on you since the whole point was to eliminate cards from your wallet.

    Finally, as several people have pointed out, the battery is non-replaceable. So I have to buy another one when it dies? And at 100 bucks a pop after this initial early bird special ends. Considering the other problems I mentioned, I’m not sure if I’d be too eager to pay that. Not that it’s unaffordable over the course of two years (~$4 a month at full price), I’m just not sure if the tradeoffs are palatable enough to warrant the perks.

    • It will probably be cheaper in two years. If it lasts only,say, 20 months instead of 24 you’re not out very much money. In the mean time, if you use a lot of cards it will add a fair bit of convenience.

      So yes, you can worry about all the small things that might go wrong or instead you can make your life a little bit simpler.

    • EVula

      I’m looking at this as a $50, 2-year experiment to see if this would work well for me. When the battery dies, yes, you have to buy a new one, but in two years, they could also have a better (either longer-lasting or rechargeable) model available.

  • Moeskido

    Potentially very nice. I’ll be interested to hear reports about this after it’s been in the field awhile.

    Also, nice to see Sandwich in an ad again.

  • I work part time in a retail location, I have a hard time believing that we’d accept these since there’s no imprinted name of the card owner, you can’t see the full number, the hologram, etc. Since we don’t see the card is signed, we can’t confirm the owner of the card and forget having to phone in authorization.

    • Vera Comment

      …I haven’t had to hand my card to anyone at retail in a LONG TIME. I swipe the card myself, sign the pad, etc. they never ask for ID. in some stores, they don’t even make you sign if the purchase is less $25 or less.

      where ever you work needs new equipment.

      AND the app takes a picture of your card so you can see which cards you’ve loaded.

      I work for a bank.. verifying ID, signature verification and phone verification are all old school. we don’t ask retailers to do that stuff anymore.

      who checks your card out at the self-checkout lanes?

      • Yahh

        While not retail, you do hand your card over to someone in restaraunts.

        Working at a bank has no bearing on this conversation. Banks are not like retail.

        • Vera Comment

          clarification. I work for a bank who processes credit cards, and dictates the terms and requirements for our POS hardware… so we tell you what we need to have in order to accept cards… so no, we are not like retail, but we tell retail what to do if they’re our customers.

          handing your card to the server at a restaurant is a pretty big risk. they have your name, CVV, full account number, and if they parked your car, they have your address (from the registration).

      • Sigivald

        If I was PCI I’d be throwing a fit about a card with no permanent digits printed/embossed on it, no signature line, and “programmable”.

        If anyone ever breaks the security on Coin’s system for writing to the cards (and with the nature of security, I think we can say it’s inevitable), they’ll be the card cloner’s dream device.

        Which makes me think PCI might take a dim view of it – and as this CNN Money article points out, Coin isn’t claiming to have an agreement with any card processor or vendor or a thumbs-up from PCI.

        All things I’d be touting front-page if I was them, and had any of those.

        If Visa (or the PCI consortium) says “No.”, it’s 100% dead.

        • Sigivald

          (I did notice that they do MENTION PCI certification in their FAQ, down low, but as “in progress”.

          And for the software, it looks like.

          It’s still not clear to me that PCI would accept anyone taking one as a credit card, but it’s also not clear that it’d be forbidden.

          I wouldn’t bet $50 on it at this point, myself.)

  • sj660

    Good idea but it will flop at that price point.

  • Dave

    Sorry, but this thing has 0 chance of being usable. Besides it being against all credit card Terms and Conditions etc, if it technically worked, it would be a way to clone any card whether it was yours or not. Which, I guess means the cost is irrelevant, as you can just charge it to your neighbour. 😉

    • Sigivald

      1) By the time it rolls out, there’d be time to get the terms and conditions modified.

      1b) Looking at a few online, I don’t see anything in any of the ones I spot-checked that would cover this at all. None of them mentioned anything even remotely relevant.

      Why would they? It’s not something the issuer cares about, if Coin has the fraud-prevention end going right. And it’s also not something that anyone thought was going to happen, so why ban it?

      2) Since it’s only programmable through their software they can pretty easily prevent stealing cards, by OCRing the name and making it match – and in theory they could even contact the issuer automatically and demand a call-in verification of permission/ownership.

      (“As an additional safeguard, the Coin app will only allow you to add cards you own.”, they say – no specifics, but…)

      The fact that they expect to actually be able to use these in the real world suggests they have an anti-cloning setup that’s at least robust enough to stop that, otherwise nobody would ever accept one.

      (See upstream comment about PCI having a flaming fit and presumably banning any PCI-compliant merchant from accepting such a card. Which would put them out of business the next day.)

  • Billy Razzle

    If it works as advertised & is accepted everywhere, then this is extremely awesome & I want one.

  • Zeatrix

    To bad it’s 10 years to late. The world is moving towards EMV and then mobile payments. Here in Sweden you almost never swipe your credit/debit card anymore, chip and PIN is the standard.

    • Sigivald

      The US is one of the world’s biggest credit/debit markets, and here it might as well not exist, for the most part.

      “The world” doesn’t matter much if you capture the US market – and add some EMV in in a year or two.

  • Adam

    I don’t get why anyone is excited by this. Do people really carry around so many cards that they feel it’s worth buying one of these $100 gadgets every two years (you have to replace the whole thing when the battery dies)? Is having your wallet be a few millimeters thinner really worth $50 a year? I carry two credit cards and two debit cards, plus my driver’s license, grocery discount card, library card, and insurance cards, and my wallet is still quite slim and comfortable in my pocket. This seems like a solution in search of a problem.