Pay with one single card or bring your wallet?

Number of stores where you can pay contactless has grown enormously last years. Contactless payments are meant to pay quick and easily for everyday purchases. That is because there is no need to enter your PIN or signature for amounts till € 25,-. Just by touching your card on a contactless card reader, the payment is received.

It is even possible pay contactless with your mobile device, just by touching your mobile device to the contactless card reader. For instance Apple Pay offers iPhone 6 users to pay with their Apple device at retail stores. In collaboration with MasterCard, Visa and American Express, Apple wants to replace consumer wallets, which seems a bit ambitious to me.

This is because other payments options are introduced each year and security remains an issue. In 2013 an American startup introduced the Coin and there was lots of media attention. Coin believes mobile devices will not replace all payment cards in the future and therefore they developed the Coin Card. This Coin is a programmed payment card with an e-ink screen that displays up to eight cards (debit, credit, loyalty, gift cards etc.). With Bluetooth you need to connect the Coin with your mobile device. With multiple accounts in just once place, you only have to carry your Coin card with you. Unfortunately the Coin is postponed till 2015 and can only be pre-ordered.

This week the American company Plastc launched their idea for the Plastc Card. This card shows lots of similarities to the Coin. Also on the e-ink screen of the Plastc Card you see all your payments and loyalty cards which you added. This card shall perform as intermediary as well and can be used for all kind of payments. Plastc Card can also only be pre-ordered and will be available in Summer 2015.

The introduction of using a single card for all your payments is criticized at security level. This new technology includes strong security features, though when disconnected with your smartphone, the single cards is useless. There has not been a solution yet to overcome this problem. So when you want to pay in the supermarket and you left your mobile device at home, the Card will block and you can not pay.

It will be a rat race between Coin and Plastc who will launch their card first. I rather prefer my wallet with lots of cards, but I can pay whenever and wherever I want, carrying more than eight cards with me.


3 responses to “Pay with one single card or bring your wallet?”

  1. 343924mb says :

    Thanks for the introduction to this new technology, I have never heard about thisone before

    On first sight it look pretty cool, as technology itself and the design. Always wear all my cards in just one device.
    On the other hand, I think there are still some security uses, which are almost impossible to overcome. That’s why I think it won’t work. The technology itself is easy replaceble and there are many upcoming substitutes for this product, for example Apple Pay. The advantage of Apply Pay, comparing to Coin is that it is much easier, because you always got your phone with you. For most people this technology is still to fancy or they will go for the more easy one (like Apple pay).

    Still, it is a nice gadget with a nice design, but on the long run I think it won’t survive between all the competive technologies

  2. 363112ws says :


    I haven’t heard of this Coin Card and the other card. But the fact of having just one card for normally having ten cards, seems to me as a huge advantage and I would be pretty interested in it. Only, I agree with you on the huge disadvantage, because you are not able to pay anytime anywhere. That is a big disadvantage of this feature.

    But during the introduction of the iPhone 6, I’ve heard of the possibility to pay wireless due to the NFC chip. NFC means Near Field Communication, it is in fact a wireless communication interface and it has a working distance of 10 cm. Can’t that be a solution to this problem?

    This NFC chip can be used in various kinds of ways. As I can recall, it can be used in mobile phones (like the Iphone 6) but also in cards (take the OV-chipcard as an example). I think this is a better way than paying trough an blue-tooth connection. A blue-tooth connection is pretty difficult to secure but on the other hand, much more people have access to bluetooth and only a few people have access to the ability to pay with the mobile phone (whether it is via the NFC chip or not).

    I also think that the NFC chip has a wider reach, due to the fact that many more (phone) firms are implementing the feature in their services and the card has to be accepted by new firms which first have to be convinced about the new product. I think that the network effects of the NFC-chip eventually will outgrow other products. But of course, the NFC chip also has some security issues. Because it generates a lot of data, but there is a problem of securing this data.

    But what do you think, might the NFC-chip not be a better solution? (Yadav, A., Sharma, A,. (2014) Near Field communication, An Era of Smart Touch, Journal of The International Association of Advanced Technology and Science: Volume 15, No3) (Haselsteiner, E., Breitfub, K,. Security in Near Field Communication (NFC), Strengths and Weakenesses –> date and publication unknown)

  3. 419542s says :

    I think it would be very attractive if I can replace all my cards with just one card. This technology combines simplicity and fast payment, which is pretty cool.

    However, I’m still doubtful about its future because of the potential security drawback. Especially in the blog it mentioned that the card would be useless if disconnected with smartphone. Under such condition, the full payment line would be: customer-smartphone-the Card-the seller. But if we take a look at Apple pay, it integrates smartphone and the Card, so the payment line becomes shorter, which may be even more convenient than Coin Card. Besides, people only need to buy a smartphone instead of a smartphone and the Coin Card. Therefore, unless Coin Card can provide some more differentiated services, I don’t think it can be successful in E payment market.

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