We introduced you to Coin (link here) back in November. If you remember, Coin is designed to take the place of all the cards in your pocket. The difference between Coin and all the other cards you have is that Coin holds all of your cards in one (credit/debit cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, etc.) You decide which card you want to use to pay, select it on your Coin, and swipe away. It sounded like a great idea. So great in fact, that 10,000 people pre-ordered the product. Meanwhile, Coin may actually be doomed.
Remember, also, when we filled you in on the new chip and pin technology (EMV) being introduced to protect your security? (link here) Well, Coin must not have gotten the memo. Complicating the company’s launch is the absence of the specialized security microchip that is in the process of being adopted by the US credit card industry. This is a big deal.
“The US credit card industry is preparing for one of its biggest technological leaps in decades. New cards […] are being affixed with security chips, called ‘EMV’. […] By October 2015, the industry has said it will change its business practices, shifting liability for any fraud to merchants and card makers who don’t upgrade to the new technology. Coin may be one of them. […] Kanishk Parashar, the CEO and co-founder of Coin, said the company hasn’t begun research and development of a next-generation product yet. ‘What we’ll do is that once we get through this first shipment of Coins, we’ll be able to have enough resources to do an R&D project.’”
Coin’s product launch was set for this Summer 2014 and just a few weeks ago they delayed the product launch until Spring 2015. We can only assume that this has a lot to do with the new chip and pin technology that they are lacking. They are offering a beta program to their 10,000 pre-order customers to try out, but this isn’t solving the problem.
Coin spokespeople have been sort of quiet about the whole microchip dilemma in a kind of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” sort of way. I’d like to know, how much longer are they planning to wait? In my opinion, when you’re developing a product, you need to keep yourself informed on what’s going on in the industry and work to adapt as soon as possible –or you’ll become obsolete. Which is what, unfortunately, I believe may be the future for Coin.
“Coin says the switch to EMV technology will be addressed in the future. Its devices are designed to only last about two years before the onboard battery dies. In the meantime, the company says it will develop a device with a security chip in it, though Coin admits it doesn’t know how that will work. In theory, the next generation Coin will be able to replicate the chip information of our new, safer, credit cards.”
Honestly, I’m skeptical and believe they are sort of scrambling at this point. What’s your opinion? We’ll stay tuned to see what’s in store for Coin and EMV technology in the future.