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Gadget of the Week: Coin smartcard

Gadget of the Week: Coin smartcard

Everyone is talking about Coin right now and for very good reason, this smartcard may well replace all the plastic you've currently got stuffed in your wallet. How? It's a smartcard that takes the place of all of your other cards, both debit and credit, in one intelligent card that can be swiped at any register, anywhere.

gadget of the week teaser
© AndroidPIT

What is Coin?

Coin is a regular looking swipable card that is like a database of all of your debit and credit cards. It's $100, which isn't cheap, but with the included card reader, you can add any cards you want to Coin and never use the old ones again. As you add cards to Coin, you can enter information and even a photo of the old plastic card to your smartphone to help you keep track. Because Coin is connected to your phone via low-energy Bluetooth, you can always keep track of the card so you won't lose it. The smartcard's tiny screen lets you swipe between the cards stored on it for different purchases and you can also check the picture of the card you're using on your smartphone.

AndroidPIT Coin Smartcard
Coin replaces all the other cards in yor wallet and can be swiped just like any of them. / © Coin

Why is it so cool?

This one is pretty self-explanatory really. Coin replaces all of the cards in your wallet, it's that revolutionary. It's not rocket science, it isn't reinventing the way we make payments, it simply perfects the current system in a graceful idea: why have ten dumb cards when you could use just one smartcard? It not only works at cash registers and point-of-sales, but also at ATMs, so you can also withdraw money on it. The idea started as a crowdfunding project, as so many do, and quickly hit targets thanks to the awesome video below and became a reality. The Coin smartcard should ship next summer, but it is still available for pre-ordering at a reduced price of $55 on the company's website.

Link to Video

The project's initial funding goal of $50,000 was achieved in the ridiculously short time of 40 minutes. Needless to say things have been going from strength to strength for the fledgling startup, based in San Francisco. The additional support will see the team add more features to the smartcard, like fraud alerts and a tracking system to keep tabs on how many swipes your card has made. Coin can even replace gift cards and membership cards. How cool is that?

Will you be picking up a Coin smartcard? What other brilliant all-in-one ideas can you come up with?

Source: Coin

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  • Earlier I had a concern about skimming of data, but now apparently the app tells you how many time your card was read. So you would eventually know if it was used somwhere else ! moreover now they are offering a morse code style pwd which you need to click after you select a card so that the waiter cannot cycle through other cards!

    • Hey @Swapnil, I like that second feature. I knew about the swipe counter but not the code. I think if your ''swipes'' show up on your phone immediately too you can check as you're leaving the store to make sure it was only swiped once and double check what was charged to it, rather than wait a month for your bill to arrive.

    • That sounds nice. Now I like the Coin even more. Just to add to that story of waiter and credit card... Well, I don't do that, no one gets my card or the card is never out of my sight. And that's a rule. Want to get paid, bring the device to me. It's that easy.

  • No seems a bit eggs in one basket to me :-)

  • I think it'd a great idea. But the concern is a hacker being able to get all your bank accounts at once with a rather high priced and probably easy to break device. I still prefer the wide adoption of tap and pay services. We all practically need our phones. Let's keep our cargo minimum. Still I think it is a great idea for people who don't want to adopt tap and pay. Too many people scared of Google I guess. Google wallet and the whole integration of Google products are near perfect. But until Kitkat 4.4 hits all the android phones and carriers act right this would be the next best alternative without giving banks the opportunity to charge you more. But every American should support Google especially.

    • Hey @Jeremy, you raise a good point about security. I just started a new forum thread about these payments options, please add your comments there too. (Just search for ''Google Wallet, Tap & Pay, Coin Smartcard''). But I guess storing everything on Coin or via Tap & Pay on Google Wallet, it's the same, everything in one place...

  • My1 Nov 23, 2013 Link to comment


  • Does it work with the chip?

    • Hey @Trent, what do you mean by ''chip''? What chip are you talking about?

      • Hey Kris, he means credit/debit cards with chip (I think all ATM able cards have chips), so you can pay the same way you use them at ATMs. I don't know about most of the world, but I know countries where cards don't get swiped at all, instead the chip is used. And actually, I think the chip is a better way of doing things with credit/debit cards.

      • Ah gotcha! Chip & PIN. I used to live in London and got very used to chip & PIN, never carrying more than 20 quid in my pocket (for milk and beer really), so anything that limits the amount of money I have in my pocket is welcome to me. I do think I might have a heart attack if I lost my Coin though! I guess that's why there's the proximity alarm.

  • shame not from UK yet

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