The author basically argues that things should be wonderful and easy and the service providers should handle it all (ignoring the difficulties of such a provision):
I should use a plastic card, cheap, easily replaceable, low cost (free in most cases), and my card account should buffer my purchase as long as the combined total of credit/cash in my accounts is greater than or equal to my purchase. I should then be able to place either the entirety of my purchase or parts of my purchase in separate accounts that provide different benefits. (Think, business, flight mileage, cash back rewards, etc) The service should often be smart enough to learn where I move my purchase and do so automatically if I so choose.
I believe we should be moving away from cards altogether. I think google wallet, square, and other RFID/NFC technologies are thinking about the future, where our devices are consolidated and integrated with the world around us. Bitcoin, a virtual currency, proves the success of something that exists purely in the aether, and keeping a Bitcoin wallet on your phone is easy.
How is going from 'wallet filled with cards' to 'one card' not a step in the right direction to 'no cards'? Maybe the technology or industry isn't moving as fast as the author would like, but it's entirely hyperbolic to say that Coin's trajectory runs opposite from the author's ideal vision.
Coin's goal is to abstract the ownership of a credit card away from the plastic itself. If you want RFID/NFC to succeed -- as the author does, as I do, and as I'm sure many other people do, then that's a good thing.
(The preorder legality side of things isn't my domain, so I can't really comment on that.)
Coin actually increases the complexity of an already complex and archaic system.
The product manages to create more headaches for the consumer and the merchant by consolidating various credit cards in a digital device with a nice "cool" factor but lacking any real solution to the many problems associated with the complex back-ends in the payments space.
Conceptually, it's not a bad product, and it sucks that the founders are probably reading hundreds of people slamming their hard work. But it's reality.
The product manages to create more headaches for the consumer
That doesn't mean that cars were a bad idea, just that I have a crappy car.
Do you have any reason to believe that Coin will be any less reliable than a regular credit card?
Many merchants I swipe my own card and they never see it. A waitress may question it, but I have no reason to believe they won't accept it if it is validated by their card reader.
The website says the battery should last two years.
Given that, I'd very much hesitate to try to pay with something that clearly isn't the original card. (Of course, I won't be able to anyway, since I'm outside the US, and every single one of my cards these days are chip and pin cards)
It's only good if it works as well as credit cards work - 99.9% of places accept them.
When they don't take that, I use my Chase Visa card, which has a pretty small limit and pretty crappy rewards. I also have my first card, a Capital One Visa card, which I keep around because there's a cool picture on it.
I also have a business credit card for work, and another for my personal LLC.
And there's my debit card I use for ATMs.
Honest question. I also have 4 cards. They don't thicken my wallet, they weigh nothing, and.. I never had a problem pulling the one I want on first try.
I mean, even in terms of 'first world problems', turning my 4 cards into 1 would never even have occurred to me.
Replacing them with a card that will one day make me say "Sorry can't pay, looks like the battery in my CC went flat" seems outright ridiculous.
First world problems indeed! And people claim there isn't a tech bubble, if projects like this get funding...
Some people can't manage their spending with a credit card, some people can't believe that these companies are giving away all that free shit (even money in return) just by not paying cash. Depends on how they manage their finances.
$500/yr to not have to listen to anyone telling me how I can save a few more cents? Priceless - no wait, not even priceless, only $500/yr!
That is the currency, that you do pay for these "perks".
It seems ridiculous to try to kill the credit card with... a credit card.
I wouldn't be surprised if Clinkle, LoopPay, Square, or any of the many startups in this space kills the credit card (and thus Coin) before Coin makes its first delivery in Summer 2014.
I think Coin is a nice intermediate step between 10 cards in your wallet, and no wallet at all. Intermediate steps are viable businesses. I think Square is an intermediate step, and they seem to be doing just fine. They're obviously going to be at the forefront of eliminating cards all together, but they knew that credit cards aren't going away anytime soon, and so they leveraged that to get their foot in the door with the merchants.
What would constitute "killing" the credit card, anyway? Less than 5% of the population using it? I don't see that happening for a good 15 or 20 years at a bare minimum.
And a large part of the point of chip and pin cards is that they're meant to be impossible to clone. E.g. in France it supposedly cut card fraud by about 80% for in-person transactions. So unless Coin can convince them that it will be as secure or more secure than these cards, they're going to be pretty much limited to the US, and increasingly get marginalised in the US too: Most large US banks have announced rollout plans for EMV cards (though many will be chip + signature rather than chip + pin).
Hopefully not "Google Wave for Credit Card"
The law states that orders must be shipped within the time stated by the company, and there is a default of 30 days if no other shipping estimate is given. In this case, Coin clearly and conspicuously states that they will ship in the Summer of 2014.
If they fail to ship by that time, they are required to offer purchasers a refund. However, the law clearly states that the company can set their shipping timeline, so long as they make the company aware of it.
Visa and MasterCard will allow you to authorize cards for a pre-order (actually for any transaction, they don't care if it is a pre-order ot not), and then finalize the purchase when you ship. They do not allow you to use finalized funds as a business loan.
While the ideal solution to this problem might be server side, as the author suggestions, that is in no way a feasible solution. The card networks are in direct competition with each other, so there's no way you could get a single card with Visa and Amex/MC on it, not to mention there's competition between issuers.
Heck, I can't even get my Chase credit account and checking account on the same physical card and those two are tied to the same user account at a single bank and go through a single credit card network.
I can't wait to get my Coin. I'll probably still carry around the Coin and a backup card, but that takes me down from 4 to 2.