There are many digital wallet systems that work with our smartphones today, but sometimes, having the physical card to swipe at the counter can be more convenient and takes much less time. Besides, not all shops will accept the type of digital wallet you use. That said, lugging around your credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, gift cards, etc can be a drag.
We have here a handy alternative called Coin.
Despite its name, Coin is a card, and it carries a magnetic stripe like all your other cards. It works like them too — you can swipe or scan it like you would your loyalty cards, membership cards, credit cards etc when you make your purchases. The difference is, you just need this one master card to do it all.
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Inserting Card Information
To use Coin, first you need to insert your card information into it. To do this, you’ll need its smartphone app (available on iOS and Android) along with a smartphone credit card reader.
Just swipe your card through the reader (dongle) and take a picture of the front and back of that card. The information will be sent to Coin via Bluetooth 4.0 and you can store as many cards as you want.
To use a card on a purchase, select the appropriate card to use via the button on Coin. Coin will display the cards you have stored in there one at a time. Pick the card you want and swipe away.
According to the official website, the card selector button is stiff, which means that no accidental card changes will occur when you hand it over to the cashier.
You might feel that the idea to store the details of all your cards in Coin a little unsafe, but there are a few built-in security features that can help ease your mind.
Coin is paired to your smartphone with Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0. Whenever it gets separated too far away from your smartphone, an alarm will be triggered to notify you that your Coin has been misplaced.
If Coin gets stolen and leaves the connectivity period of your smartphone for too long, it will automatically deactivate itself, rendering it useless. How far or how long Coin is separated before this is triggered can be set via the app.
Your online Coin account, mobile app and the device itself use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption for all storage and communication to ensure your card information is safe. Coin also doesn’t display your entire credit card number — together with its encryption, this makes it harder for your card to get skimmed.
Batteries in Coin can last around two years of daily usage, and you will have to replace it with a new one if you want to continue using Coin. Coin can work outside of the U.S. but users are advised to bring their cards as backup, just in case. Coin does not support chip and pin cards, however, future generations of Coin will include EMV.
Coin is available in two colors (Snow and Midnight), and is currently available for pre-order at a price of $55 (inclusive of shipping fee). It will reach you during the summer of 2014. The current introductory price of $55 is limited to early birds as Coin will retail at $100.