Coin: A Dream Or A Bust?

By Brian Sousa
In Brian Sousa
Nov 18th, 2013

I recently read an article written by Brandon Hann on his site, fittingly named, about a new product by Coin.  Coin plans on eliminating the need to carry around multiple pay cards such as credit and debit cards.  Brandon and Coin lay out a compelling argument as to why this product is going to be a success but I’m not buying what they’re selling.  Here’s a short video by the team at Coin.

“Swipes Like A Card. Handles Like A Dream.” – Coin

Perhaps it swipes just like a card but is it really a dream?  Brandon did bring up the point of acceptance by merchants and said “some stores might be leery about accepting it (Coin) due to its non-traditional appearance”. Umm, yeah! So you go into a retail store and after an hour of picking out your new television you go to the cashier and give them your Coin.  I could just imagine the look on that cashiers face.  The look of, “do I accept a card that I don’t recognize, has no features of a pay card and from a customer who says trust me it will work”?  And what else can turn this “dream” into reality but the fact that Coin costs $100 and lasts only two years.

The Skinny on Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game

“Why Lose One Card When You Can Lose All Of Them At Once”

What people want is not condensing the amount of cards you carry but eliminating the card all together.  People may not know what Coin is but they do know what a cell phone is and the technology behind it.  With the iPhone using its Passbook app and other devices using NFC technology and Isis for payment, this is the future.  Retailers are already accepting phone apps as payment and more are getting on board every week.

Coin is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and if we want to get serious about this, the solution is stop having so many payment cards.  Besides, we’ve already seen companies like Coin come and go, watch.


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I'm 30 years old from San Jacinto CA. I'm married to my beautiful wife Christine, love my family and enjoy writing. I started to give people a new way to express their views over the internet and for readers to learn something new by reading what their peers have to say and not the mainstream media. I hope you enjoy what I and my fellow contributers have to say and look forward to reading your comments.

14 Responses to “Coin: A Dream Or A Bust?”

  1. Brandon says:

    I understand where you’re coming from and trust me, I know this company has some hurdles to get over in order to release such a product…one of which is getting the OK by the major credit card companies.

    However, the point is that they are trying. Putting the cost aside for the moment, the product as described is actually pretty useful. You say “it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” but then you admit there’s actually a problem! Except you choose to blame that problem on something else: that people open too many credit card accounts. However, most people that have multiple cards do so because each card offers a different value for different reasons. I have one card that has a super low interest rate, but it’s AMEX so it’s not accepted everywhere. Because of that, I also have a Visa card from Chase that offers 5% back on select purchases. Then there are times when I’d like to earn AAdvantage Miles through American Airlines and for that, I have a Citi card. So don’t pretend that the real issue is that people need to get rid of the amount of cards they have!

    This product may not be for people who open credit cards to continue living because they’re broke — the $100 price tag will keep those people from buying it in the first place.

    This product creates a solution, albeit not perfect, for people like me. I’d like to reduce the physical amount of cards I have to carry in my wallet and I don’t plan on closing any accounts to do so. Plus, the Coin can take any card that has a magnetic stripe, so I can also go to Vegas and store all my casino player’s cards in here and slip them in whatever machine I want. That takes care of another 5 or so cards.

    All in all, I doubt this device will make it mainstream, but to say that it won’t even get off the ground only because merchants will look at you funny is a little premature. I mentioned it only because I assume it will cause some confusion, but then I thought how often I actually hand a credit card to someone these days and those times are few and far between. Plus, on the back, everything will be printed just as a real credit card…your name, machine logos and signature panel too. Let’s just wait and see how it goes come summer.

    • Brian Sousa says:

      What a surprise! The person who I mentioned in my article left a comment. Having too many open accounts and having the need or want to reduce the amount of cards a person carries are two different things. The “solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” comment has to do with how many cards a person carries not how many accounts someone has open.

      Personally I don’t see why you would have multiple rewards cards. It would take longer for someone to gain rewards if they’re spread out over multiple cards rather than having one card and thus gaining rewards faster.

      I would hate to put all my credit cards into a slot machine at once. The risk of losing one card to a slot machine is one thing but to think I risk losing all my cards at one shot is another.

      Sure it might get off the ground how far will it get? Well I’m sure it will be low enough to jump over.

      Like you said, you don’t hand over your card that often so it looks as if having a card with you at all times will be a thing of the past. To my point in the article the future is using your phone, which you always carry with you, as your card.

      • Just Me says:

        Are you aware of the feature that alerts you if you have left your card somewhere? Also, it is linked to your phone, so it will be of no use if you have left it somewhere. I do agree with you on having different credit cards to get the rewards…but at the same time I also agree with Brandon on the fact that different cards offer different rewards and it is still up to the consumer to decide what he wants to spend his money on earning. Maybe big purchases go towards the “mileage” card and everyday expenses go towards the “cash back” card. As a female, I carry a lot more items in my purse. It would be nice to simplify all the cards into one. Keep an open mind. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs

        • Brian Sousa says:

          Yeah, I do wish my visa card would alert me when I leave it somewhere and having the capability of deactivating it with my phone would be great. But unlike combining all my cards into one, if I lose my visa I can then pull out another card and pay for whatever it is I need. If I lose a Coin then my only option is cash that I may not have on me. With my ATM also linked to my Coin card I can’t even get money out of a machine.

      • Brandon says:

        The solution to the problem that doesn’t exist comment is therefor a moot point by your own admission. If we weren’t talking about how many open cards people have, then my original point (and your admission here) is that people are carrying around a lot of cards. So the “problem” is that a lot of cards makes wallets thick and can be troublesome for people looking for a specific card. That’s all. Is it a problem for everyone? No way, but those people aren’t interested in Coin.

        Moving along. I provided a very good reason why someone might have multiple rewards cards. In my case, the Chase 5% cash back offer only applies to certain purchases and those purchases change every 3 months. My AAdvantage card tends to get used for high dollar purchases (not covered at the time by my Chase offer) so I can earn more flyer miles on my account. My AMEX low APR allows me to purchase things when I want to roll over a balance without getting hit with high interest.

        Also, “rewards cards” cover savings cards like Vons Club, Ralphs Club and others so if you want to save money at various stores you shop at, you’ll need a card for each.

        I don’t understand what you mean about losing a credit card to a slot machine. I was referring to storing player’s club cards so you can hotel points while gambling. You and I both know that it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple cards from different hotels and resorts.

        I’m not here to debate the popularity of the Coin. I’m simply saying it’s a great idea and I’m excited to use it to free up space in my wallet and reduce the un-even thickness it currently offers me while sitting. I also have Google Wallet, but do you know how many times I’ve used it in the real world? Zero. Why? Because there are only two places I’ve seen support for it. McDonald’s and Jack in the Box. I know there are more, but I haven’t seen it yet. This illustrates another big point. To get Google Wallet supported everywhere, businesses will be forced to change out point of sale systems to support the NFC and Swipe technology. This of course will come in time, but the advantage Coin has over Google is that ALL businesses that accept credit cards can support it.

        • Brian Sousa says:

          I guess you’re right about that, Coin is a good idea and I was talking about the success of Coin as a lasting product. You’re also spending money on this product so its success if vital to how viable your purchase of Coin is.

          • Just Me says:

            First, you pay yearly fee’s for certain credit cards because of their features and rewards, so whats the difference with this one in regards to the fee? Second, you cant lose this card… it will send an alert to your phone once you have gotten a certain distance away from it, so on your way to your car after a drunk night, you wont have to wait till the next morning to realize you left your card at the bar… although that example probably doesn’t apply to us anymore, it would have been a nice thing to have when we were in our twenties! ;)

  2. Mr. X says:

    I think he’s right people I general don’t want to Carry wallet around and an app will eventually replace them

  3. Sonic49er says:

    So, couple things…if retailers accept phone payments…why not a card? If they are using ISIS…why does ISIS only accept Chase Freedom (credit) and AMEX card? ISIS is a telco monopoly…Coin is indiscriminate and agnostic of outside interests. If Google Wallet weren’t blocked by the telcos…GOOGLE WALLET would be the ONLY thing used. So…for 50$ (less if you get referrals) you can have an OPEN SOURCE solution to having 2 debit cards, and 4 credit cards in your wallet…and tell the monopolizing telcos to shove it.

    • Brian Sousa says:

      That’s a well thought out argument. What will be a tough selling point is convincing people to pay for Coin every two years. Then once paid for, the chance of having the card rejected by a retailer can only hurt Coin’s image. I would hate to pay for something only to have it not work.

      • Brandon says:

        There are certainly some pitfalls in this product…nobody is disputing that. But I highly doubt Coin will be any less accepted than some of the new credit cards that are coming out without raised numbers or no numbers at all.

        Plus, it’s all about systems and people. Sometimes they fail. Remember when we were in Florida and Eddie’s wasn’t allowed in the club we went to because the security guard said his ID was fake? Things like this not working can happen anywhere anytime.

    • Brandon says:

      I agree. I’ve never used Google Wallet in the real world and I was really rooting for it!!

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