Coin – the latest startup aiming to make the credit card history

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Meet San Francisco-based digital startup Coin. The company’s ethos is to build products which “simplify, improve and fit seamlessly into your life” – and a new product released today aims to do precisely that.

Coin’s solution is to have one card to rule them all – a connected device which holds the information of all your other cards and accounts, with users able to chop and change with a circular button on the front of the display.

Alongside the Coin app, users swipe cards – which can include debit, credit cards, gift and loyalty cards – through a smartphone attachment, take a photo of the card and then it’s saved on the system.

The big worry here, of course, is that if you lose your Coin, you lose everything. But utilising Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), it can detect its position in relation to your phone – and if the two are far enough apart, Coin will send a notification to your phone.

The battery on a Coin lasts for approximately two years, with iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps all lined up.

Having said that, there are potential issues with Coin.

First of all, it’s not available to customers outside the US. Or, to be more specific, it is, but as Coin doesn’t yet support EMV, you’ll be taking a risk if you adopt early.

Second, for those who fear about the legality of duplicating credit cards, as reported in The Verge, CEO Kanishk Parashar states it’s not illegal because it’s your own information you’re copying. Yet the confusion remains.

Coin ships in the summer of 2014 at $100 each, apart from a few select pre-orders, which will set you back $50.

Take a look at the video below. Do you think this is the right solution to kill the credit card – or have payment apps already covered the same ground?

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