Coin squeezes credit, debit and reward cards into a single flexible friend
Wallet stuffed with so many credit, debit, gift, membership and reward cards that it’s bursting at the seams? Then Coin might just deserve a place on your wishlist.
This ingenious credit card-sized gadget stores the details of all your credit cards and loyalty cards, and can be swiped in a machine just like any normal card. You can pay for things with any of your cards through the Coin, and can even use it at a cash machine.
Coin is coming in 2014
To pop your card details onto the Coin, you download a mobile app and plug Coin's card-swiping device into your smartphone. You then swipe each card through the device, feed its details to the app and you’re done. Any card with a magnetic strip should work, and the app is available for iOS and Android phones.
Losing your Coin card could obviously prove disastrous, but the designers have taken that into consideration. A security feature sets up a Bluetooth link between your phone and Coin, and if they get too far away from each other – say you leave the card in a restaurant – you’ll get an alert on your phone.
Each Coin comes with an integrated battery that lasts for two years, after which you’ll need to buy a new one. The device is due to launch in the summer of 2014, priced at US$100 ($125), but if you pre-order one now, you can get it for half the price.
The only downside? Coin doesn't currently support the EMV chips found in chip-and-pin credit cards, meaning it's not quite as useful to those of us outside the USA. Coin told us that EMV will be supported in a future version of the card, but certainly not in the first generation out next year. Their advice for non-US customers is to "hold off your purchase for now."