My First Week With COIN

First thing I should probably do is explain what COIN is.  COIN was a crowd funded project that I invested in.  The COIN is a credit card sized device that stores all of your credit, debit and loyalty card information.  You can then activate it, select the card you want to use and then use it in place of a credit card.

It looks like this:

After you put in all of your cards, you press the button to activate it.  After it activates you can push the button again to change what card you want to use.  Once you have the card you want to use selected you can swipe the card yourself or hand it to a cashier and they can swipe it just like a regular credit card.

There is a little screen that gives the card name that you assign, the last 4 digits and the expiration date.  All of the information that a cashier might need to know.

So how secure is it?  Well, I have mixed feelings around that but here are some safety features that are built in.  If you are within about 20 feet of your phone then it will let you right in just by pressing the button.  But if you are more than 20 feet or so from your phone, you must enter a code for it to activate.  So if your COIN gets stolen, it will be unusable unless they know your code.

While we are on the security subject.  COIN does not improve the security around card skimmers.  Basically it changes the magnetic strip to match whatever card you select.  So if you use a machine that has a credit card skimmer on it, your card number will still be skimmed.

This was my first week with COIN and I have been curious to see how well it works at different locations as well as what happens when you hand it to a cashier.  So far it has worked everywhere except one and that one I am going to try again when it is not raining.

I have used it at a drive through, at a sit down restaurant, at a gas station and at Sams getting Gas.

The only location that I had a problem was at Sams gas pumps.  I have had problems in the past using a debit card there and that is what I was trying to use.  However, the real debit card worked right after I tried COIN.  It was raining really hard and I was getting wet so I did not try too much before moving on from COIN.  And it is possible, the strip on the COIN had some mist on it.

What has surprised me the most is I have handed it to 2 different cashiers and neither one has even blinked when I handed them the card.  I was expecting resistance when I hand it to them because it does not look like a traditional credit card.

I am curious about the durability of the device.  Credit cards in my wallet seem to start bending because of my wallet.  I put COIN on an inside flap in the hopes that it will not get bent as much.  We will also see how long the battery lasts.

So far my first week has gone well, better than I expected.