Coin Cards Will Be Obsolete Months After They Are Released

Coin already blew their launch, pushing back the release of the all-in-one credit card eight-plus months right before pre-orders were supposed to ship. Now, customers will only be able to use their $100 Coin card for a few months before it's made obsolete.

As anyone who has traveled to Europe in recent years can tell you, American credit and debit cards have trouble working in other Western nations. This is because our cards lack an EMV chip, a fraud-protection technology widely adopted across the rest of the world. And those chips are proving to be a big problem for Coin, as Re/code notes:

Coin's release is now set for the spring of 2015 — only a few months before retailers in the U.S. will be encouraged to stop accepting payment cards like Coin's that don't have new embedded computer chips meant to make cards harder to clone. By October 2015, retailers will begin assuming risk for fraudulent purchases in their stores if they do not use a new type of checkout equipment designed to accept these new, harder-to-clone credit cards currently being issued by banks.

The issue is that EMV chips aim to prevent the very activity (copying credit cards) that Coin offers as a utility (copying all your cards into one single app-managed card). Therefore, Coin isn't shipping with EMV chips, making their technology unusable at any merchant that requires the security mechanism.

Coin notes that American credit card machines will continue to accept traditional swipe methods after the October 2015 switch-over. However, Re/code isn't so convinced Coin will be as universally accepted as the startup might hope:

But will [retailers] really want to assume the risk — especially in the wake of the Target breach— that the card is a fake when they know most mainstream banks started sending out chip cards to their customers back in 2014? Or will they train checkout people to ask a customer for another form of payment in these situations?

What's worse? Coin already admits that their cards aren't accepted at 15 percent of merchants, and that's before the scheduled EMV switch. At this rate, Coin will be worthless long before its battery runs dry.

To contact the author of this post, please email kevin@valleywag.com.

Screenshot: Coin