Plastic owns your wallet. Between IDs, credit cards, ATM cards, gift cards, and whatever other rectangular plastic resides in your card slots, they’re the real reason why you’ve got a bulging backside. Coin is offering a remedy for that.
A high-tech chameleon card, Coin can pretend to be any of your existing credit, debit, gift, or membership cards, allowing you to carry just a single card while having access to every single one. A button on the card allows you to switch its identity from your AmEx to your Citibank Visa to the Best Buy Gift Card you won on a raffle, so you can use it just like the actual cards themselves.
Coin performs this magic using a patent-pending magnetic strip that can change its contents on demand, with support for up to 8 different cards at a time. It ships with a small card reader that you use to scan the actual cards, whose information are then loaded onto a smartphone app which syncs with the Coin card. During use, a small display on the card lets you see which of your cards it’s mimicking at the moment, showing a four-letter code you assign, the card’s last four digits, expiration date and CVV number.
Other than the current card, all information stays on the phone, so the card needs to stay in constant communication (via Bluetooth 4.0) with the handset when you need to switch to a different account. And if you’re the type to forget your cards or your wallet a lot, it can help, too — your phone is going to fire up an alert once it detects the Coin card is a bit too far from your current location. If you’re unable to retrieve your Coin, no worries about theft either, as all information disappears when it fails to pair with the smartphone.
Slated for a release summer of 2014, Coin is currently accepting pre-orders right from their website. Price is $50.