Coin Launches Version 2.0: An EMV-Ready All-in-One Card
Coin began shipping its next generation plastic on August 26. The card has always included an NFC chip, which enables tap payments similar to Apple Pay, but version 2.0 has a number of upgrades.
It is 0.8 millimeters thinner than the initial version, it allows you to give your cards nicknames, the electronic strip has been improved, and the display is two times faster. The improved sensors will make swiping easier, especially outside where humidity or extremely high or low temperatures can make a card fail.
Most importantly, Coin 2.0 is EMV compatible. As described in Coin’s FAQs, the United States has mandated that after October 25, liability for fraud will shift from “card issuers (Discover, AMEX, etc.) to merchants that are not EMV-ready.” The hope is that EMV technology will make credit card transactions more secure. The Coin updates ensure you will still be able to use Coin 2.0 at all retailers.
Coin was originally announced in November 2013 when it began a Kickstarter campaign. The company promised to replace the credit cards in your wallet by storing all information in a single card and allowing you to quickly switch between accounts. It followed the same core idea as any mobile wallet platform, but it could be swiped like a traditional credit card. Many seemed excited by the prospect, and over 20,000 people pre-ordered Coin for the discounted price of $55. Originally, the cards were due to ship in the summer of 2014, but backers did not start receiving their cards until November 2014. Later orders were not shipped until April 2015.
Another issue arose when users complained that Coin did not live up to the promises, and the company admits that the card only worked in 85% of the locations in the United States. To make matters worse, when the U.S. announced that it was mandating a switch to EMV cards, it rendered the first version of Coin worthless.
If you do have the original Coin, do not be worried. You will not be stuck with an obsolete card after October. The company will replace your card with version 2.0. You simply need to update the Coin app and follow the instructions. If you’ve ordered an original Coin that has not yet shipped, a Coin 2.0 will automatically be shipped to you.
Kanishk Parashar, the founder and CEO of Coin, promises, “We’re working really hard to reinforce how important our users are to us.” This is surely meant to appease users who have been waiting years to receive their product.
Of course, there is another problem. Coin now has a number of digital competitors. Apple Pay can store all of your credit cards, and the NFC works with most major banks. Also, Samsung Pay and Android Pay will be rolling out, so those without iPhones will soon be able to pay with their mobile device as well. Additionally, Coin 2.0 is competing with the debit card you already have, as your debit card doesn’t need a battery, can be used almost anywhere, and will usually be replaced by your bank for free.
While the success of Coin may still be up in the air, it has been swiped over a million times since it shipped in April, and over 350,000 cards have been ordered. Coin has also inspired other companies to hop on the universal credit card bandwagon, such as Swyp, Plastc and Stratos.
Since so many people seem excited about an all-in-one card, it seems likely that early adopters will give Coin another opportunity to live up to its promises.
About Bill Hardekopf
Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.