Coin Startup Wants To Replace Credit Cards
November 15, 2013

Startup Coin Wants To Replace All Your Credit Cards

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Startup company Coin wants to replace all the cards in your wallet with a single, Bluetooth-enabled “connected card” that can be reprogrammed in real time and used the same way as traditional credit cards.

The San Francisco-based company launched a crowdfunding campaign on Thursday seeking to raise $50,000 to start producing the cards, which can mimic virtually any swipeable card that uses a magnetic strip, such as credit cards, debit cards and loyalty cards.

The company, a graduate of mega startup incubator Y Combinator, said it plans to sell the cards for $100 when they begin shipping next summer, or $50 for those who pre-order today.

The small, credit card-sized Coin device includes a lithium battery, Bluetooth low-energy radio, e-ink display and a patent-pending dynamically reprogrammable magnetic strip.

The card is the creation of mobile developer Kanishk Parashar and Coin’s team of seven employees, who have been developing the idea for over a year.

In an interview with AppleInsider, Parashar said the company chose the swipeable approach because of its ubiquity, so that nearly every credit card-enabled business in the world is Coin-enabled by default.

Coin users can store up to eight cards at once in the card’s onboard memory, and can switch between them by simply pressing a small button. The selected card is then displayed on a small, embedded e-ink screen that shows the last four digits of the card currently in use, as well as its expiration date and CVV.

Cards can be swapped in and out at any time using a companion smartphone app that connects to Coin over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the same protocol used by fitness trackers and smartwatches.

The Coin stays in constant contact with the smartphone via BLE, so if it is ever left behind, the phone will alert the user once they walk away.

Parashar said the device’s battery will run for up to two years without recharging, after which time an upgrade path to a new Coin will be provided.