Advertiser Disclosure

With Coin, Your Credit Cards Could Someday Be Obsolete

Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
With so many websites offering free financial tools, it can be hard to know whom to trust. At NerdWallet, we spend literally 1,000s of hours researching partner offers and following strict editorial integrity to match you with the perfect choice. We even share how we make money so you can enjoy our expert advice and researched recommendations with total clarity and confidence.
coin-credit-cards-obsolete

“Thin is in” is usually an expression used in the fashion world. But with a hot new piece of technology known as the Coin, we’ll soon be using it to describe our wallets, too. In fact, this all-in-one credit card may someday make carrying individual cards a thing of the past.

Currently, Coin can be pre-ordered from the company’s website by anyone for $50. The pre-orders were meant to give the business some crowdsourced funding so that Coin can be released by the summer of 2014. If you wait until then, it’ll cost you $100.

What is Coin?

The purpose of Coin is to free up space in your wallet or pockets by consolidating all of your credit, debit, and store loyalty cards onto one piece of plastic.

It works like this: you download the Coin app onto your smart phone, then plug a dongle (which comes with the Coin card) into your phone. Next, you use the dongle to swipe all of your credit, debt, and store loyalty cards. This loads the cards’ information into the app. Then, you can put all those individual cards away for good – you won’t need them anymore.

After you’ve put your credit card information into the app, the hardware (the Coin card) communicates with the app via Bluetooth to get it when you need to pay for things; a button on the card lets you scroll through and choose the card you want to use.

If you’re worried you have too many cards for the Coin to handle, don’t: the Coin app can store an unlimited number of cards, and the Coin card can handle 8 cards at a time. If you want to switch the cards that are on the Coin, simply use the app to do so instantly.

» MORE: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay Offer Speed and Security at Checkout

Where can Coin be used?

One of the great things about the Coin is that it doesn’t require stores to change any of their technology to be able to accept it. This means that you can use the Coin anywhere that credit cards can be used. And, because the Coin holds store loyalty cards as well as payment information, you can use it to get your discounts and pay for your stuff.

When will Coin come in handy?

One of the best features of the Coin is that it has a built-in security feature that lets you know when you’ve forgotten your Coin, or that it’s been stolen: the Bluetooth communication that you’ll set up between your phone and your Coin card will sound an alarm when the two get too physically far apart from each other.

So, imagine you just paid for groceries with the Coin and you start to walk away without it – your phone will sense that it’s getting too far from the card and sound an alarm to tell you that it was left behind, all before you even get out the door.

If for some reason this system fails or your Coin gets stolen, it will automatically shut down, which will keep your credit card numbers safe.

Why can Coin be better than using individual cards?

The most obvious reason that the Coin beats using individual cards is its convenience. Carrying around just one small card is much easier than juggling several. Plus, the safety features built into the Coin make it much more difficult for it to be used by anyone other than its owner.

If the convenience and the safety of using the Coin aren’t convincing enough, consider this: most of the parts of the Coin are manufactured in America, so you’re supporting the growth of the U.S. economy by buying the device.

Who created Coin?

Coin – a small slice of plastic that could be mistaken for any other credit card – was created by Kanishk Prashar, an experienced mobile app developer and former employee at PayPal. He founded his San Francisco-based startup to solve a problem a lot of us have – having to carry around multiple credit, debit, and store loyalty cards in one tiny wallet. Nearly two years ago, he created the first Coin from scratch himself, and now the product is almost ready for prime time.

The bottom line: if you’re looking to streamline your wallet and make carrying around multiple cards much easier, the Coin may be right for you. Be sure to pre-order while the cost is still only $50, and get ready to impress your friends with how slim your wallet will become!