personal website of Dan Catchpole.

Backer's Remorse

So last year a pretty cool new piece of tech was announced called Coin. It looks and acts like a regular credit card, but has the ability to store multiple cards within it, reprogramming the magnetic strip on-the-fly to match a selected card. Pretty cool concept, and a great way to trim down a wallet. 

 

Jump to today. The U.S. POS landscape is going to be changing in the next year. For those who don't pay attention, U.S. merchants are being pressured to adopt and support EMV cards (so called 'chip-and-pin' cards as they include tiny chip containing cryptographic data to secure and identify your transactions). This is a big deal and a good thing for U.S. consumers, as chip-and-pin is a very secure means of transmitting credit card data. 

Coin, at least, in its current iteration, will not be compatible with EMV point of sale terminals, meaning it's usefulness has a lifespan of one, maybe two years as more merchants switch to supporting, then in some cases requiring, EMV cards. 

On the one hand, I don't mind having helped Coin come into existence (and possibly inspire some similar products that do plan to support EMV out of the gate.)

I do feel some small tinge of buyer's remorse over dropping cash on a product with a very real End of Life date, but at the same time it's a very new category of tech so it's no surprise that it will evolve even further.

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