With Australian banks making it easier to apply for credit cards it's not uncommon for someone to have more than 2 or 3 cards in their wallet. There is a growing trend to minimise what is in your wallet, namely reducing the amount of plastic you carry around. Wouldn't it be nice to have one single card which has all your accounts on it, ultimately reducing the weight and size of your wallet?
One company may have achieved this. The 'Coin' is an electronic device, the size of a credit card, which holds the information of eight of your credit cards and all of this by the touch of a single button. The technology is a magnetic strip that changes the credit card information stored dynamically on demand. In order to do this you press the button on the ‘Coin’ and you cycle through the accounts that you have stored. Once you've selected that account you're looking for you just swipe it through the retailers POS system. As easy as that!
There might be one issue with it being that the card doesn't cater for a signature block. It can be swiped like a credit card but there is no way of identifying a signature - but in this day and age signatures are obsolete and a very bad form of card holder identification. It can also be expected that there will be an awkward moment when handing the card to the cashier and trying explain what the card is since its a new concept.
As for security, the card will have Bluetooth 4.0 LE built in. What this means is that if you mistakenly leave your wallet behind and you have the ‘Coin’ tethered to your smart phone, the phone will automatically get notified that you've left your wallet behind. However, the ease of use of the 'Coin' will create security concerns and possibly make it easier for thieves to replicate the card and get all your credit card numbers. The device comes with a card reader that plugs into your smartphone's headphone jack and reads the data from an existing card shooting it over to the digital card. It’s a possibility that this process can be done in reverse and hackers can have access to all your card information.
With very little security built into the 'Coin' it makes sense that smart phone style wallets are the best way to go. Google Wallet and Isis have proven to be ineffective but perhaps 2014 might be a better year for e-Wallet technology. The Coin might not be the perfect way to deal with wallet clutter but it's really cool technology. With an expected $55 (US) price tag and only available in winter 2014 - there will likely be better technologies on the market by then.