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Coin for Your Wallet

By: Michael Scheibach

Credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards and even gift cards stuff most Americans’ wallets, including mine. And finding the right card to use at the right time is often as confusing as it is daunting.

Enter a new concept in the payments world: Coin. The idea of Kanishk Parashar, CEO and founder, Coin is a connected device that can hold and behave the same way as the cards you already carry. Instead of carrying several cards, you only have to carry one Coin, which safely holds multiple accounts and information all in one place using 128-bit and 256-bit encryption.

Coin, which will be available nationwide this summer, comes along with a card-swipe dongle that connects to your smartphone or tablet and allows you to upload all your cards onto the mobile app. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, the mobile app can automatically load up to eight cards onto your personal Coin card. Once you have set up your Coin, says Parashar, you no longer need the accompanied app or your iOS or Android device to be near for Coin to function, unless you want to manage, add or delete existing cards.

Paying with a Coin is simple: You simply toggle through your stored cards by a press of a button. You can distinguish each card by the nickname you assign to it and the last four digits of the card seen on the digital display to select the one you want to use. Once you are at the card with which you wish to pay, simply swipe it as you would any other card. 

Data security, at the top of everyone’s worry list following recent data breaches, has been addressed as well. Parashar points out that the Coin app is password-protected and is 128-bit/256-bit encrypted for all storage and communication with its easy-to-use consumer app to ensure the safety of your identity. The company never stores sensitive data on its servers and is currently working on PCI compliance.

Another security feature is that Coin sends you a push notification alerting you if you leave your Coin behind and locks automatically if you go too far away, making it unusable if anyone tries to pay with it. If you need to unlock your Coin without your phone, you can enter in your single-button passcode (similar to Morse code) so you always have your Coin available for use. Coin also has an alarm that remembers how many times your Coin is being swiped, and will alert you via the app if it is being swiped fraudulently when it is out of your hands. In addition, Coin can be locked onto one card so a merchant or waiter can’t change it to a different card anytime the Coin card is not in your possession.

An obvious concern is the branding by banks of their credit and debit cards, a function seemingly eliminated by Coin. But Parashar points out that discussions are ongoing with banks and card issuers, and that he has had positive feedback from the financial services industry.

And what about EMV, which is to be required by October 2015? Coin does not currently support EMV, or chip and PIN, technology. But Parashar adds, “Over time, we will continue to evolve our products and technologies as the payment infrastructure changes. We are committed to offering more convenience, security and utility than individual cards can on their own.”

For more information, or to preorder your Coin, visit www.onlycoin.com.  


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