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Despite the best efforts of tech giants including Google, the dream of a truly cashless mobile wallet remains out of reach — but next summer, a slim black gadget could finally fulfill that goal, and it won't even require your smartphone to pay.
Coin made headlines Thursday as the company opened its doors for preorders in the hopes of raising $50,000 — enough to manufacture the first round of its credit card-sized gadget capable of replacing up to eight of the traditional plastic cards.
According to TechCrunch, that goal was met within 40 minutes of the news getting out, and with good reason: Coin promises to free your wallet of plastic debit and credit cards, replacing them all with a single slim card that can be changed on the fly.
Priced at $100, Coin comes with a dongle that attaches to a smartphone, which is used to read each of the cards you want to use with it. Once safely inside the mobile app, the slim black Coin card can be programmed with data from up to eight of those cards, allowing the user to switch between them using a small button on the Coin card.
While shopping, simply select the debit or credit card, then swipe as usual in the retailer's credit card terminal. The magnetic stripe switches automatically as each card is selected, giving users the freedom to pay however they like.
Coin also uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect your iPhone, so if you should ever walk away and forget your card, a push notification will trigger to let you know before it can fall into the wrong hands.
The only downside is that Coin won't be available until next summer — but those willing to preorder today can secure their place in line and get one for only $50, half off the asking price, plus $5 for shipping. Act fast, however, because there are only a limited quantity of Coins available at launch.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter