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Coin is Finally Here! It’s Time To Shop.
Way back in Nov 2013, I saw a video that blew my mind. The concept was to thin out the wallet by combining multiple cards in to a single electronic card that can switch on the fly. Their concept video was very convincing, so I decided to spring on a pre-order. Unfortunately, I wasn’t early enough to secure a beta spot.
When Apple announced ApplePay for their new iPhones, many people cancelled their Coin orders. I think some of the employees had quit because they though this would destroy them. I was kind of disheartened, but I would patiently wait. I honestly think that I wanted to cancel my pre-order, but decided to stick it out.
Along the way, I spotted only one out in the wild. A passenger on my aircraft tried to use one to pay for a drink. He even swapped cards on the device in case it was the stored number. Unfortunately it didn’t work. We spoke about it for a bit. He was luckily part of the beta. I was still several months from my own.
I finally got my Coin mid-August 2015. I have used it daily since then. I knew that it was not compatible everywhere, but did my best to not look at the compatibility list so I could discover on my own. Along the way, I tweeted about my Coin and the @Ask_Coin twitter account responded to every tweet.
In the box comes the Coin, Credit Card Reader, and instructions.
Shopping With Coin
The first place I tried it at was at the gas station. I figured that was a good place to try since I would be swiping the card myself. I had just filled my tank 2 days prior and was still at 7/8, but went anyways. My very first try was a success!
Hunger drove me to my next destination, Burger King. Unfortunately, after a couple tries, the card didn’t read. I switched between different cards, but it didn’t help. My second try was my first miss.
I needed some things from Target, and since I loaded my Target RedCard onto Coin, I figure it would be a good place to try. At checkout, it recognized my Coin as my Target card and I was able to get my 5% redacted discount.
I then went to the supermarket and bought groceries. I used the self checkout lanes and switched to another card on my Coin. It worked there too.
The next challenge came to me while driving. I still had my reader device on me, so I wanted to copy my Starbucks card to Coin. I told the cashier that I wanted to recharge my Starbucks card. She held it a little too long and it shut off so I told her I had to turn it back on. She was perplexed and then she recognized it and exclaimed, “Is this a Coin?!” She had heard about it and had never seen one in person. She got excited. The Starbucks setting worked, and then to pay, I showed her how I switched it to a different card. She was excited to swipe the same card again as a different payment.
My first day allowed me to use all 4 Credit Cards and my Starbucks card. My quest to use my Coin would continue for the next week. I would cycle through my cards just to make sure it is ok between switching and swiping.
I have used Coin many times since receiving it. There was only one other time where I wasn’t able to use it when I wanted to. The difference this time was that the cashier recognized Coin and told me beforehand that it wasn’t going to work. That was disappointing. That didn’t deter me. I just made a mental note of which point-of-sale device it was and to not use my Coin with that in the future.
It still amazed at the technology in such a small card. It still doesn’t work in ATMS, but I would rather not use my Coin where a machine will take it from me. I want some kind of control over swiping it. I will still keep my other cards on standby in my wallet, but Coin will be always be attached to my phone. Even though I have Apple Pay, swiping a card still has some satisfaction. Time for me to swipe and pay with Coin.
Coin just issued a press release regarding Coin 2.0 which will now come with EMV chip technology which enables NFC payments.. One of my initial complaints about no nicknames for cards has been addressed and one will now be able to give 4 letter nicknames to cards. Coin 2.0 is also 8% thinner than the original version. Coin will also upgrade all existing users for FREE to 2.0. This is great news for all current and future Coin users.
Check out updates on the Coin Blog