Freddy Cloud

Frederick (“Freddy”) Cloud has had a passion for all things electronic since he “accidently” caused the class Commodore PET to malfunction in 8th grade. “I swear. I didn’t do it on purpose” He was quoted as saying to a very unhappy computer teacher... Read his full bio

What could be “in your wallet” in the near future


Over the summer, in preparation for a family trip out of the country, I took the time to do something that I should have done eons ago but just never got around to: figuring out what I carried in my wallet. I knew I needed to take the bare minimum, but needed to be sure I had important things like a way to get cash if needed, identification, medical card, etc. What I DIDN’T need for this trip was the mass of cards like gift cards, transit cards, membership discount cards and corporate cards that I was carrying around. Instead of asking me, as the commercial says, “What’s In Your Wallet”, an easier question for me to answer would have been “What ISN’T in your wallet”.

There are companies that are working on solutions to the bulging (not from an excess of cash) wallet. A few of them involve using your phone or tablet and an NFC chip that’s inside of it, assuming your phone actually HAS an NFC chip inside of it. And this is part of the issue; instead of unifying, companies are competing. Google has theirs (Google Wallet), which isn’t the same as the one AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are backing (Isis), and there are stores that may take one, but not the other, or sometimes NEITHER technology is supported. The only thing that is universally accepted is the credit card (or debit card with a Visa/MasterCard logo), but who wants to carry around a bunch of those? Well, if Coin has their way, you won’t have to.

Coin is brilliant in its simplicity … one credit card sized, well, card, with a display and a button replaces 8 cards that you carry in your wallet. The Coin comes with a card reader that you attach to your cellphone. You swipe the card, take a picture of its image, and it syncs to the Coin. That’s it. You use the button on the front of the Coin to switch between cards, and the display shows you what card it’s emulating. And the Coin is synced to your phone via Bluetooth. For instance, if you walk away and leave your Coin at the restaurant, it alerts your phone before you get too far. Security? Card data is encrypted on your phone and on the Coin, and if you lose it, it becomes useless within a few minutes.

I’m very excited about this. It solves the problem of carrying several cards with you, and makes card management extremely convenient. I’ll link you to the website so that you can get more information. Asking “What’s in your wallet” is about to have a rather high-tech response …

Talk to you soon!

Freddy C.

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