Have you always dreamed of taking all those cards in your fat wallet and turning them into just one? Well, that technology isn’t much farther in the future!
Over a year ago, Coin came onto the scene with their neat idea and launched a slick looking video to convince people to crowdfund the project:
It sounded so great, that even I signed up for the card too! However, the Coin rollout has been a complete train wreck — and that’s putting it nicely!
To sum it all up, Coin had buyers pay $50 to pre-order with the promise that they would be receiving the product by Summer 2014. The company led people on with an intensive social media and email marketing campaign that everything was going smoothly ahead of the launch.
Then June came, then July came, then August came, and NOTHING! Finally, Coin announced they would be rescheduling the launch for Spring 2015 and that they would be rolling out a beta Coin card at an additional cost ($30) for the first 10,000 users who pre-ordered the card. That 10,000 number equates to a very, very, very small sum of Coin backers.
Backers of Coin were furious, and rightfully so. Now, they had to invest additional (if they were lucky) money into a card that has a 20% fail rate plus potential unknown glitches. And, the rest of the backers had to wait almost another year for Coin without ANY level of confidence that the company could actually follow through. You can imagine how flooded Coin became for refunds from its backers, many of whom complained, that Coin never refunded or responded to any of their requests.
After much pushback, the company did agree to allow the beta users to no longer have to pay an additional sum of money to test the product for the company. Finally, a win for the backers!
Bottom line, this was not a great first impression from this company.
Now there is two very serious competitors on scene to Coin, whom have a great opportunity to lock up the space. One is the same type of technology as Coin and the other is completely different, which could potentially out pace the plastic card technology completely.
The first one is called Plastc. Here is a promotional video on the product:
The second one is Apple Pay. Recently at the iPhone 6 launch, Apple decided to incorporate the ability to pay for products through your device and use their finger scanning technology to verify your identity with ease. Here is a video showing how Apple Pay works:
This is an interesting race to watch and see which of the 3 products will ultimately succeed. On the one hand the all-in-one debit card is a very practical idea and on the other being phone pay technology, which seems even more practical. Of course, this is provided that the commercial sector universally adopts technology that allows for paying through your phone.
Coin has completely fallen flat on its face. Plastc hopes to steal backers from Coin and gain momentum due to the bad publicity the company has received because of its rollout. And further, Apple is in a even better vantage point because of its gigantic brand awareness, customer base, and strategic partnerships with businesses and debit transaction providers.
For the mean time, I see a place for both pieces of technology, but see Apple Pay being the future where everything moves towards. I think of it like Blockbuster which had lots of success, but then Netflix and Redbox came along. For awhile, there was a place for both in the industry. However, eventually you saw blockbuster fall very hard because it became very outdated technology. I suspect that will be the case here with even the all-in-one plastic cards with enough time.
The big lesson to learn from all of this is the Coin experience. Coin was able to leverage social media to get its feet off the ground in a big way, but because their integrity has since come into question, the power of social media is now working against them. People are getting the message out about the horrible experience thus far.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them. Comment below.