Coin, an electronics startup based in San Francisco, has just released its first product for purchase: an electronic card that stores and manages up to eight debit, credit and gift cards.
According the FAQ page on its snazzy interactive website, Coin operates by way of a mobile app that compiles all the data of a consumer's various cards and then downloads it onto the Coin card. The card can then be used to buy items at any store that accepts credit or debit (or where your gift cards originate) and will allow the user to make withdrawals at his nearest ATM.
Sound dangerous? A number of news outlets have expressed concerns about the card's safety, such as TechCrunch, which ran a series of questions about the card’s security features along with some official answers from Coin.
“Turns out, people not only want to buy more Coins but they want to know more about Coin, too,” Jordan Crook wrote on TechCrunch’s website yesterday. “That said, the company is responding to consumer feedback, announcing a number of features that will be available in the first release.”
According to CNNMoney (which ran an article about the card's potential problems last week), Coin has announced new security features. One problem on CNNMoney's list that the company has addressed is tied to an already existing security feature, namely the card’s connection to the user’s phone.
Because the card is connected to the Coin app on the user’s phone, it will stop working and alert the user (through the phone) if the card is too far away from the app-connected phone. According to the card’s website, this feature is in place to assure that if the card is lost or stolen it won't work.
But what if your phone dies?
According to CNNMoney, the company has created an upgrade that will allow owners of the card to continue using it by adding a button on which an emergency code can be tapped to restart.
Those aren’t the only fixes on the way. CNNMoney also reports that a new feature will alert the owner of how many times the card has been swiped, and a new mode will lock the card during use, so the wrong card can’t be accidentally used by a teller or waitress.
According to another TechCrunch report, despite perceived problems, Coin has met its presale goals and continues to receive interest from consumers.
Ellis Hamburger of the technology news and review site The Verge thinks the new card by Coin has the potential for broad appeal, beating out similar consumer convenience devices like Square and Google Wallet.
“It could end up being very useful for everyone from design nerds to moms and dads,” Hamburger wrote, ”because the value it offers is obvious: on the surface, it takes eight pieces of plastic and turns them into one piece of plastic.”
Read more about Coin at the company's official FAQ page.