The "coin" card

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The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:58 pm

I know a few people ordering this thing. It seems like there are a lot of flaws and too many unknowns at this point. Does anyone see regular, everyday transactions going in this direction vs. something like google wallet or some other NFC phone technology?

Link: https://onlycoin.com/

Discuss
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:21 pm

Not for me...I will use cash for at least some transactions till the bitter end. I can see the end somewhere on the horizon, but I will resist.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:37 pm

I can see this replacing loyalty and gift cards, but this voliates pretty much every Credit card TOS.

Besides doesn't this need to be swiped? Seems like a step backwards since every purchase less than $100 is just tap your wallet on the scanner and walk away.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Biggest risk seems whether the merchant will be familiar/comfortable/willing to accept it. It doesn't really look like a normal credit card.

Sure, it is technologically a step backwards compared to NFC (I'm assuming that's what you mean by "tap your wallet"), but it requires no additional investment or deployment on the part of the merchants. At least where I'm located, locations that accept contact-less payments are pretty rare.

I think this could be a decent stopgap until NFC is truly ubiquitous.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:11 pm

weaktoss wrote:Biggest risk seems whether the merchant will be familiar/comfortable/willing to accept it. It doesn't really look like a normal credit card.

Sure, it is technologically a step backwards compared to NFC (I'm assuming that's what you mean by "tap your wallet"), but it requires no additional investment or deployment on the part of the merchants. At least where I'm located, locations that accept contact-less payments are pretty rare.

I think this could be a decent stopgap until NFC is truly ubiquitous.


I am 100% with you on this. It's a neat idea that combines the current payment system architecture with people's general willingness to adopt new technology. But with all the heavy hitters (Amazon, Apple, Google, etc...) trying to breakout with cloud services I don't see it lasting long.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:19 pm

weaktoss wrote:Biggest risk seems whether the merchant will be familiar/comfortable/willing to accept it. It doesn't really look like a normal credit card.

I doubt that is going to be much of an issue. With credit card companies allowing you to upload your own digital images for the face of your card, and some card issuers going with weird looking default designs (that "coin card" actually looks a lot like the replacement Visa card Chase sent me a little while back), the fact that it doesn't look "normal" means little.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:20 pm

It's bad enough that the finance-government complex keeps track of everything I buy with a credit card and the Cloud Cartel wants me to exchange my precious privacy fluids for "free" web services, but it sounds like this thing phones home too. Thanks, I'll pass.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:15 pm

The Web site seems more concerned about looking cool that giving information.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:40 am

It's a neat idea, but if you think about it for a minute... how many "membership" cards do you actually swipe? People don't need to swipe a AAA card, but they do need the phone number off of it. For other membership cards, the store will want to read the name or see the physical card. I don't think even Costco would accept it because they check the photo ID and name before swiping.

So I'd still have to carry around at least half of those "membership" cards. Seems silly to use it for gift cards as well. And in the event it was stolen, I don't think I'd be comfortable using the original credit cards anyway and would request new ones. So it doesn't seem to have much benefit unless the holder has quite a lot of credit cards...
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:52 pm

Not going to happen unless the card issuers are willing to buy into the technology somehow to ensure security from their side. At present, an important aspect of a fraud dispute is whether the card was physically swiped versus the number being keyed into a terminal. Whereas this device creates a swipe without the card being physically present.

Perhaps if the card had to be unlocked per-transaction by an app in the tethering phone, similar to a debit card or an NFC transaction, but that's a bit cumbersome compared to just using, you know, an NFC transaction (or an app-based transaction...e.g. a number of major B&M retailers are now accepting PayPal).
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:07 am

The Steve Gibson (ala Spinrite fame) on his Security Now podcast had an interesting theory on how it actually works.

The Coin itself has a fixed magnet strip, and when the card is swiped the Coin is charged through some debit or credit network like any other card. Coin then subsequently charges one of 8 cards you have "loaded" since the Coin communicates to your smartphone, which has an internet connection to tell the Coin servers something like, "ok, next charge that comes through goes to the Mastercard."

If true, which seems likely, that may divert some of the security concerns. The main problem still seems to be that not all retailers will take the card. But it seems trivial for Coin to start selling cards that have your name and a signature strip on the back, which might assuage retailer anxiety. No reason they can't make it look like a normal card but have the "card switching" tech under the covers.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:28 am

wow, identity theft just got stupidly easy.

As for the retailers not accepting the card, that seems unlikely. why would they care? They aren't in the business to aggravate paying customers when the tech is already in place. which would you rather do? sell a cart of groceries to a yuppie with a bluetooth credit card? or pay your employee 12.00 per hour to put back 150.00 worth of groceries or worse, eat a 75.00 lunch for refusing tender? I don't get it.

I do get why people would be opposed to this type of tech, both credit card companies who will lose their main forms of advertizing and dispute resolution, and consumers who would worry that being able to duplicate any credit card instantly could be abused... that said, legally I think this is in a legal grey area, not unlike aereo. The technology itself just isn't illegal, which means that while credit card companies could potentially cancel your card for a breach of the TOS, the company itself is probably safe from any legal attempt to block them.

Personally, I think the tech is cool. I like it. I think using it might actually be safer than using a regular card, if implemented properly(especially given the ease of duping a card in the world of "coin". I also think that this fills a huge gap in NFC tech: adoption. I can substitute 7 cards for one that I swipe exactly the same way. I can't substitute my phone that is only applicable in 10% of cases, I can't substitute 7 cards for 7 e-wallets that are unique to the 7 places in town that actually accept any form of NFC and I can't substitute a 3 second ritual of choosing a card and swiping it with a 15 second one involved in opening an app before every use. NFC was killed by retailers who didn't want to let the viable players step in and just do it. As a result, NFC is pretty much dead at this point.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:01 pm

Diplomacy42 wrote:As for the retailers not accepting the card, that seems unlikely. why would they care?


Because retailers pay fees and go through a significant amount of back-end hassle to maintain access to credit networks, and if a particular form of payment becomes a source of excess grief, they may make the rational calculation to stop (or never start) accepting that form of payment.

Ever try to run around town with a Discover card?
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:45 am

ludi wrote:
Diplomacy42 wrote:Ever try to run around town with a Discover card?


ehh, thats not really a fair comparison. people don't accept discover because they charge the merchant a 6% +$0.25 fee per transaction which is more than what mastercard charges (4%). It has nothing to do with record-keeping or "back-end hassle"

if more people used/demanded discover and/or they could offer it at nearly the same net cost as mastercard, they would.
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Re: The "coin" card

Postposted on Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:35 pm

Diplomacy42 wrote:
ludi wrote:
Diplomacy42 wrote:Ever try to run around town with a Discover card?


ehh, thats not really a fair comparison. people don't accept discover because they charge the merchant a 6% +$0.25 fee per transaction which is more than what mastercard charges (4%). It has nothing to do with record-keeping or "back-end hassle"

if more people used/demanded discover and/or they could offer it at nearly the same net cost as mastercard, they would.

How is this different from the general point being made? From the customer's point of view, they have a credit card, and either the retailer accepts it, or they do not. If the retailer does not accept it, then the customer has to decide whether to carry alternate forms of payment or take their business elsewhere. The retailer, meanwhile, has to make the rational calculation of whether accepting the card will bring in enough business to justify any back-end difficulties the card may create, of which "high transaction fees" are one such.
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