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Brief Published: 21 Nov 2013

Coin: Smart Credit Card


Coin is a credit card-sized device that digitally stores data from up to eight debit, credit or loyalty cards in one place. It lets users access and pay with multiple accounts from just one card. 

Developed by the US startup of the same name, Coin allows users to select a payment card by pressing a button on the device’s face. Its magnetic strip then changes to match the information on the chosen card. The device is due to ship in summer 2014. 

Users load card information onto Coin via a hardware plugin on their smartphones. Coin stays connected to the user’s smartphone throughout the day by using low-energy Bluetooth technology, which means that the user can be alerted instantly if the phone is accidentally left somewhere.

Major tech firms such as Google and Apple have launched a host of mobile wallet and payment initiatives. However, many consumers have been unwilling to switch from familiar, convenient card payments to new systems.

Coin’s decision to mimic the dimensions of a credit card could encourage consumers to try new payment formats. “The consumer gets to keep their habits and the merchants can keep their habits,” explains Kanishk Parashar, chief executive of Coin.

For more insights into the future of mobile payments, see the Stylus reports Mobile Wallets: Where Next? and Lift: The Future of Money.