Coin is trying to help Americans shed that extra weight—in their wallets. The new mobile wallet option was demoed at Disrupt NY on May 5, and its developers believe it can succeed in attracting adopters where others have failed.
The Coin itself is a device about the size of a normal credit card that can store information for your personal credit or debit card, corporate card and even gift or loyalty cards. Users upload card information into a companion mobile app which stores everything and select which card they want to use by pressing a button on the Coin. After that they can swipe it like any other card.
And that's exactly what could give Coin traction over other mobile wallet options: it feels normal. One of the biggest hurdles attempts like Square, Loop or even Google Wallet have faced is that customers simply don't mind using cards to pay for purchases. Why go to the trouble of adopting a new payment method when it isn't a problem to begin with?
"There was the assumption that there was going to be some sort of spark that ignited the marketplace, and there was going to be a mobile payments revolution," Denée Carrington, a Forrester analyst studying mobile payments told The New York Times. "This was never going to be a revolution. It's definitely more of an evolution."
Coin doesn't entirely wean consumers off the cards, but it could eliminate a lot of them. Since it works like a regular credit card, it also means retailers don't have to implement any new system to accept payments. Some fast food outlets have recently found success in adding mobile payment options to their apps, but more widespread systems across multiple retailers have been problematic.
The likes of PayPal and Google aren't giving up the ghost, though. PayPal has been busy channeling its online success to the mobile platform, and Google Wallet's imminent arrival on Google Glass is sure to shake up the mobile payments market when it comes. For now, Coin isn't the perfect solution mobile wallet proponents have been waiting for, but it could prove to be an important step in the right direction.
See Coin's demo video below.
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