San Francisco based company, Coin has decided to change the way you carry your Credit Cards. It offers a Coin Card which stores multiple credit card information in a single card and let you use the way you use a regular credit card. It means, you do not need to carry multiple cards in your wallet but just the Coin. At first, the idea of getting rid of multiple plastic cards seems really cool but it raises many questions as well. What if I lose the Coin card? Will the merchants accept Coin just like regular credit card? Will it work internationally? Do I need to pay extra transaction fee every time I use Coin? and so on. As the Coin card is not yet available for public use, so based on the information available on the portal and by different interviews performed with the Coin team, here is a list of Pros and Cons of Coin card as compared to the regular credit or debit card.
Based on the information I have, please find few common answers as below,
- You need to pay one-time fee to have Coin. Currently, it is available to pre-order for $55 and will start shipping in Summer 2014.
- There will be no extra transaction fee if using Coin instead of regular Credit Card.
- Coin Card information is not phone specific, it means you can transfer card information from one phone to another using Coin Account.
- Coin may not work internationally and that’s why it is suggested to carry the main credit card issued by bank as a backup.
- Apart from the mobile app and physical Coin card, the Coin server will also store all your credit card information so that you can transfer the same from one phone to another or get those information on a new phone
- One Coin card’s life is about 2 years and after that, you need to pay again to buy a new Coin card
- It can store credit card, debit card, membership card, gift card, all type of virtual credit cards etc.
- Coin is not waterproof but is water-resistant. No problem with spilled Coffee but not advised to swim with your Coin in pocket
Advantages of using Coin
#1 – Slim Wallet – Right now I am having total 5 (3 Credit + 2 Debit) cards in my wallet. Coin will store all these cards in just one card and it will automatically reduce the size of my current wallet.
#2 – Auto Deactivate on Loss – Coin is connected to your iPhone or Android phones through Bluetooth. If you forgot your card in a restaurant and leave, a warning notification will pop-up on your mobile screen to collect your card. Coin mobile application for iOS and Android will auto lock the Coin card in case you left it somewhere.
#3 – Works on Swipe Machines – Just like any other credit or debit card, Coin works on regular card swipe machine and you can pay using the same. You can select any specific credit card from the stored cards and pay using the same.
#4 – App for Online Payment – All your credit card information is saved in the Coin mobile app, so you can make online payment by just checking the information in the app itself. No need to take out the card out of your wallet.
Disadvantages or Cons of using Coin Card
#1 – Security of Information – As per the FAQ of Coin’s page, all your card’s information is securely saved using 128-bit and 256-bit encryption. But do you really going to trust the Coin’s server encryption for storing all your financial card information? Apart from the technology, the implementation of the same is also very important. In case something happens to Coin’s server, you may lose all your credit and debit card information including the CVV (as Coin is planning to save that information as well).
#2 – What if I lost my Phone – As discussed above, the Coin card auto-deactivate once you left it somewhere at a specific distance from your phone. Son in both the cases i.e. if I lose my phone or the card, the card deactivates. Let’s assume that it’s not the card but someone ran away with your mobile phone, the Coin card in your wallet will auto -deactivate in that scenario as well. According to this interview of Kanishk Parashar (CEO and Founder, Coin), you can reactivate the Coin card using a PIN Code. But you may find yourself in a different condition after loosing your phone and may not recall the password instantly. In that case, you may need to wait to come to senses and recall the Coin password to unlock the same and then only you can use it.
#3 – Not All Merchants are Tech Savvy – Coin works like regular credit card but the merchant may find it fraud if he is not aware of such card. He may choose to not accept Coin card as it looks like someone is having a duplicate or copy version of a stolen card.
#4 – Call Bank for Authorization – As you are not using the regular credit card provided by the bank, you may find yourself in an awkward position if bank doesn’t verify the transaction. In that case, you may need to make a call to your bank after the transaction to get it authorized. To resolve such things, Coin team should get in touch with different bank so that they treat the Coin card as their own credit card.
#5 – Mirror All Card Information – In case of unattended payments which is very common in restaurants where we use to give our card to the waiter for the payment, someone can copy the entire Coin card of yours and have all the credit card information (not only one card). In case of fraud payment through credit cards, the issuing bank provide fraud claim protection but I don’t think such protection is valid in third-party cards like Coin.
You can pre-order Coin now for $55 only and expect the delivery somewhere in Summer 2014. Do you think Coin will change the way we use Credit Cards? Post your thoughts about this new start-up and the idea in comment section below and let us know your opinion on how much acceptance this new project will get within card users.
Just to let you know, Coin raised the set goal of $50,000 in just 40 minutes of its promo launch by pre-order only. Isn’t it great?