Coin Combines All Cards into One

Nov. 18, 2013

Riding a heavy publicity blitz, payments startup Coin reached its goal of $50,000 in pre-order sales of its new device that stores credit, debit, rewards, loyalty and gift cards, in 40 minutes, according to published reports. The new storage device, which is the size of a credit card, not only stores cards, but can be swiped like a card at most POS terminals after the user has chosen which card he or she wants to use. Coin card holders use a mobile app and a Square-like card reader that plugs into their smarphone’s audio jack to load their credit, debit or other card information onto the Coin Card.

The device uses 128-bit encryption to secure all data stored and transferred, but it also uses Bluetooth as an additional layer of security. If your Coin card loses radio contact with your phone, it will lock up and send you an alert. At the moment, the full card number does not appear on the Coin Card screen, so cardholders who want to make e-commerce purchases or place orders over the phone using Coin would have to access their card number from the mobile app.

Coin is not the first company to work on a hardware-based product that stores multiple cards. Sacramento, Calif.-based Escardgot successfully demoed its version in the spring of this year and plans to have its product ready before the Coin card. Several years ago, Pittsburgh-based Dynamics introduced its Card 2.0, which enabled card consolidation, though it was not tied to a mobile app.

Unlike its competitors, Coin is using a presale to crowdfund the product’s manufacture—so if you purchase the card now, it will not be available until next summer. It’s available now on the site for $55, but will cost $100 when the Coin Card is available for retail sale. The company, founded by PayPal vet Kanishk Parashar, received seed funding from Y Combinator and K9 Ventures.