onlycoin – only ten years too late

PINning your hopes on an unCHIPped picture of the future

A new startup, onlycoin.com, is attempting crowdfunding for a new credit card wallet. This product, called coin, is the same size as a credit card and stores the details of up to eight other credit cards (or debit cards, or any similar card with a magnetic strip). The onlycoin.com card runs an application that allows you to select which of these eight cards the onlycoin.com card should emulate. This allows you to leave your other cards at home and carry just the onlycoin.com card.

Many people’s physical wallets are bursting with multiple cards, and the onlycoin.com card helps address this problem. But it has a major drawback. The onlycoin.com card does not support CNP (chip and PIN, also known as EMV).

Chip and PIN is widespread in most of the world, but less common in the USA at the moment. However, the liability shift for point-of-sale (POS) transactions is proposed for 2015.

The onlycoin.com card is only due for release in 2014, without support for chip and PIN.

The proposed liability shift timetable means that the onlycoin.com card will become near-obsolete in a year, and is already fairly useless outside the USA.

Whilst this may have been a reasonable proposal ten years ago, here at Vox Sapiens we think that it is craziness to get involved in crowdfunding the proposal now. In additional to being technically late to the party, onlycoin.com is also commercially late. Google Wallet already provides the ability to store multiple cards, and automatically integrates this functionality with Google Wallet’s Paypal-like money transfer functionality. The only difference is that Google Wallet uses an NFC-capable phone rather than a multi-personality credit card as the enabler.

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