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Dear John, I Mean, Dear Coin, It Is with a Heavy Heart I Must Tell You…

Peter Reville |

OK, I admit it.  When I first heard about the introduction of Coin a few weeks ago, I was pretty darn impressed.  Then I saw the video and I was hooked.  This is the greatest thing ever.  A device the size of a credit card that can store all my plastic card information – how cool.  With Coin, when I go to the store, no more fumbling through my wallet, simply pull out my Coin, choose the card I want to pay with and off I go.  I even sent the video link to friends and colleagues.

The romance, I am afraid, has fizzled.  I saw snarky comments on the Internet, but I chose to ignore them.  Then the article in Mobile Commerce Daily opened my eyes to the harsh reality facing Coin.  I’m not saying it dead as it stands, but it has an uphill battle.

First of all, is Coin solving enough of a problem to be worth $100 (I know there is a $55 introductory price, but early adopters do not float any boats I ever heard of)?  Not to mention, you have to buy another one when the battery runs out.  Other than the cool gizmo factor, I cannot see people beating down the doors to get something like this. It feels like a solution in search of a problem.

Further, it has no EMV plans in the near future of which would prohibit Coin use in much of the non-U.S. world.  What’s more, it does nothing more than make the payment.  Currently it cannot receive any marketing messages and operates independent of the mobile phone which is where a vast majority of the new payment technology is being developed.

I like Coin and I want to believe, but in the crazy, crowded world of payments, the winner will be the one that can create a differentiating experience for retailer and consumer alike.

Topics: Credit, Debit/Prepaid, Payments Strategy

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