There are lots of companies, including Google and Apple, that would like to replace your wallet with a digital version, but a startup has a somewhat less ambitious goal — replace your handful of credit cards with one super card.
Coin, a credit-card-like device, is set for a summer 2014 launch. As the video below explains, Coin swipes like an ordinary card. The difference is, the card holds up to eight credit cards, debit cards or gift cards. Coin provides a dongle device to users that connects to their phone and an app that lets you download the card info.
The device will cost $100, but the company is charging $50 for early adopters that preorder now. Founded by former PayPal developer Kanishk Parashar, Coin uses a patent-pending magnetic strip. The reader device employs Bluetooth Low Energy and Coin’s battery lasts two years, according to the company.
With so much energy spent towards turning smartphones into digital wallets, Coin’s idea seems a bit like a throwback, or at least a stopgap solution until those initiatives go mainstream. (Coin’s debut coincided with the U.S. launch of Isis, a mobile wallet initiative backed by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.) Assuming the traditional wallet sticks around for a while, though, Coin might carve its own niche, especially if it can somehow incorporate drivers’ licenses, tickets and library cards, among other stubbornly analog forms of ID.