Much like a lot of startups that are focused on the finance industry, there’s a new one in town that aims to make your wallet a lot slimmer. The product is called the Coin, and in the simplest of words, it’s essentially a credit card that can store multiple credit cards (and debit cards and even gift/loyalty cards) with the idea being that you can carry just one credit card with you while still having all of your credit cards with you as well.
The Coin looks like a slate-colored piece of plastic that has a small display on it with a magnetic strip on the back for swiping purposes. The display shows you what credit card is active on the Coin, and there’s a small button that you can press to pick the card you want to use.
The Coin comes with an accompanying iOS app and a card reader that you plug into the headphone jack. To add credit cards to the Coin, you simply swipe the card using the reader and then take a picture of the card so you know which card is which when you’re managing them in the app. Then, using Bluetooth, you send all of that information to the Coin card.
What if you lose your Coin card? Well, the company says it’ll be nearly impossible to do that since your iPhone and Coin card communicate with each other over Bluetooth. So if you get up and walk away, leaving your Coin card behind, your iPhone will notify you that you left your Coin card at the store or restaurant. When that connection is broken, the card will automatically deactivate. Of course, this requires your phone being on your person for this to happen, but the card won’t work in the first place without your phone, so it’s good way to also remember to bring your phone with you so you don’t forget it at home.
All wireless communications between the card and your phone are protected with 128-bit encryption, so there’s no need to worry about some clever hacker intercepting the communication.
Sadly, the Coin card won’t ship until next summer, but you can pre-order yours now for $50, plus $5 for shipping. The company says that there are limited quantities for early adopters, and the price for a Coin card will jump up to $100 eventually, so if you’re wanting to get in on the ground floor, it’s best to do it now rather than later.