(I receive a referral credit if you use the link below. However, you also get $20 off the $155 price. Feel free to not use my referral link if you don’t feel comfortable, but if you do, thanks!)
I subscribe to this website called Uncrate, where they send you a list of cool, manly stuff that I will never buy. However, there was a VERY interesting new product on the latest list that I just preordered.
Just for reference, I’m super pumped about Apple Pay, which can store multiple cards, work with NFC readers and seems very secure. However, there are many places where it won’t work, and where you’ll need a traditional card.
The Plastc card is a different, and in my opinion a better version of Coin; they are both credit card-sized devices that can store multiple credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, etc. They both will solve some problems that us with multiple credit cards (some disparagingly call us “churners”, a label I carry with pride) have – namely, carrying a wallet big enough to house all our cards. These two products promise to keep all our cards on one central card, although there are differences.
First, let me highlight some similarities:
-Both have a card reader and apps for easy card loading, so you don’t have to load card numbers manually.
-They both have what seems to me to be strong security programs (not holding your card numbers centrally, 128 bit encryption, etc.).
-They’re both made of plastic and flexible.
-Both can only be paired or connected with a single device, for security purposes.
-They both have e-ink screens for seeing which card you’re using, although Plastc’s product has a much larger screen that spans almost half the card.
-They both can store all types of cards, including credit cards, debit cards, they can both be used at ATMs, and loyalty cards.
-Neither can duplicate the magnetic strip on your driver’s license or passport. Both are loaded and accessed via the card reader and the included app, and both are available on both iOS and android (no idea about Windows).
-They both have referral programs, although there’s a slight difference (below).
They’re list of differences, however, is slightly more impressive:
|EMV (chip & PIN), NFC (contactless payments), RFID (accessing doors, garages, etc.)||Y||N|
|How long until battery is drained||30 days||2 years|
|How many cards can it store (both apps store unlimited cards)||20||8|
|Biometric authentication on phone app||Y||N|
|Full credit card details contained on card||Y||N|
|When is it supposed to ship||Sum 15||Spr 15|
|Display barcodes and QR codes||Y||N|
|Display photo and signature||Y||N|
Coin has been around longer, but is already running into problems. The biggest one that I foresee, a problem that Plastc doesn’t have, is the lack of an EMV chip, which will be mandated by October of 2015. The CEO of Coin said they’re currently working on it, and I truly hope they are; I’d love to see more competition and products in this space.
The biggest differences for me, and the reason I’m picking Plastc, are the included EMV chip, and the fact it can hold 20 cards instead of just 8 cards (both apps hold unlimited cards). In addition, I love the huge e-ink screen, and the PIN code. I just don’t understand what Coin means when they say tap code, and they don’t really explain it. They also don’t really explain how long their “limited” warranty covers. The one thing I don’t like about Plastc is that you need to recharge it every 30 days; I wish they merged with Coin and had the 2 year battery.
One problem I foresee with any of these technologies is that it’s unlikely or very difficult to copy all of the information from a card’s embedded EMV chip, and therefore still might not be the ultimate solution. I’m excited to find out though.
What are your thoughts?