Monday – Which Card Will You Use Today?
I love all the new technology that is constantly being developed and tried out. Ever since the refinement of the micro-chip and the more recent improvements in battery design, we have seen some pretty amazing ideas put to use. Some of them are novel and fun to play with for a while, but they quickly fade from favor and never really take hold. Others, a few, work their way into usage and become fairly standard.
Here is one innovation that I hope does become successful because it is so practical and useful that it really can't miss when it comes to popularity. It is called the Coin Card and is a portable device which is the same size as a credit card, but stores all the information from all or your credit cards into one. Instead of having a few credit cards, plus your debit cards, gift cards, etc. all jammed into a tiny pocket in your wallet, you store all of them electronically in your Coin Card.
It's a 2-piece device, the plastic "card" and a downloaded cellphone app that operates the electronics.
When you choose to pay something via "plastic" you just select which of your cards you want to use, then swipe it through the counter-top device like you always do. It's really nifty. Take a look at Coin's promotional video and watch how it works:
After a bit of pre-production hype earlier this year, Coin gathered the feedback and have re-designed the card to include a few things that trial users recommended. CNN Money listed a few of them:
Critiques of the device included potential security issues: How secure is the sensitive data stored in this digital card and app? Can a Coin owner use the device as a card-skimmer, and secretly swipe someone else's card?
Other concerns included the fact that the current Coin prototype wouldn't work if your phone runs out of battery, and whether merchants will accept the device for payment.
The company plans to add a button to the Coin card so users can reactivate it even if their phone is dead. Users will be able to tap a button in a "Morse-code-like" fashion. Coin will also feature a system that shows how many times your card is being swiped, and tell you if someone is using it when it isn't near you. Finally, the device will also "lock" on one particular card — so the waitress can't accidentally switch your payment method when she grabs Coin from you.
The company stressed that the Coin app will be password-protected and that all card information is encrypted. Coin also said its app won't let users add information for cards they don't own, a feature that will be powered by a financial-data service like Intuit or Yodlee.
Their plans are to bring the final product to market sometime this coming summer and will be priced around $100. Personally, I don't have a need for this device, but I love the way it works and I hope they make a go of it.
Now let's make a go of getting this equipment checked out. It's Monday, so that means the long list today. I'll get an extra pot in the Bunn-O-Matic before we meet back in the day room. See you there.
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