Lots of us go on diets to get ready for swimsuit season, but next summer it could be our wallets that get skinnier. A company called Coin is introducing a device that aims to replace every credit card, debit card, membership card and loyalty card in your wallet.
The San Francisco-based startup has created an electronic device that is set to debut in summer 2014. It looks and swipes like a credit card, but is actually a mobile device that can hold all your card information.
It uses Bluetooth technology and works with a mobile app that users download to their Apple or Android smartphones. Folks input their account information using their phone and it is transmitted to the Coin device. Then they can use Coin anywhere they would use a card—at an ATM, a store, or with a mobile card reader.
The Coin app can hold an unlimited number of accounts, but the device itself can only have eight active accounts at one time. Users can load more account and rotate them depending on which ones they use most often.
There are some security measures in place to protect bank accounts, identity, and other personal and financial information linked to the Coin. Since the device uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with customers’ mobile phones, if Coin and the phone it is linked to are separated, an alert is issued to the phone if the two are unlinked. If the phone and Coin lose contact for a certain amount of time determined by the user in settings, Coin will deactivate itself. The device uses 128- or 256-bit encryption for communication between its servers, apps, and the device. Accounts are also protected by password.
Early adopters save by ordering now
People can pre-order Coin now for $50 (plus $5 shipping and handling). That price is expected to double closer to launch date, according to the manufacturer, so if you’re interested in this technology you might want to get your order in early.