Coin is a credit-card size device similar to the Proteân Echo that retains multiple cards in its memory. As of November 2013, it’s currently in the crowd-source funding phase, but is reported for availability in 2014.
There are many card storage apps for the iPhone and other mobile devices. These will keep track of your card numbers and details. At many retail stores, the clerk will enter your number by hand (if you have it stored with these apps for easy retrieval), or bring it up by your phone number.
However, credit cards and some rewards cards need to be scanned. That’s where this device will be useful. Apparently it can mimic your cards through a dynamic magnetic strip. It’s programmed by scanning existing cards in the same way some smart Universal Remotes can learn from the original. After the Coin smart card is programmed, it can be swiped in a reader.
A potential security risk of this and other devices is that it may allow people to capture physical credit card data and then reuse it without the owner knowing their card has been stolen (since they will still have the original card in their possession. This could happen any time the card is out of someone’s possession for even a moment (at a drive through or restaurant for example). Most credit cards have a number of ways for merchants to know it’s the original card and you are the original owner (photo, signature, and computer chip).
Watch the video below for more details.
- “Could This One Card Replace All Your Other Credit Cards?,” Slate, 15 November 2013
- “Coin Card Maker Adds Security Features to Digital Wallet,” Tom’s Guide, 20 November 2013
- Proteân Echo – Universal Digital Card (similar device)