updated 07:58 am EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Coin extends card replacement beta to more users, removes extra cost
Digital credit card replacement start-up Coin has changed the requirements for its extended beta trial, as part of an apology for its heavily-delayed release. A message to backers advises it is extending the beta from 10,000 backers to 15,000 backers, and by making it available at no cost, it is also effectively removing the $30 "fee" for taking part in the trial.
"We apologize for our lack of transparency and clarity in our communications to you," according to the statement received by Droid-Life. "You, as our valuable backers, should have been the first to know about all product updates. We honestly thought we could make our timeline. We were overly optimistic." The card was originally slated to launch in the summer of 2014, though the extra testing now pushes this back, potentially into early 2015.
Coin goes on to point out what it has managed to accomplish since it started work in May 2012, including a thickness of approximately 0.84mm with an e-ink screen and Bluetooth LE connectivity. "We even found a button that has a tactile touch so you can feel feedback every time you press the button on Coin," advises the team, before noting it swipes successfully at 85 percent of locations visited. "Our hardware team is focused on the remaining 15 percent."
The beta will now see Coin sending out test cards to more backers than first advised, with the pre-order date dictating a backer's place in line. Originally, backers entering the beta would forgo the final version, but would be able to buy it at a discount of 70 percent, though now testers will continue to receive the final product without the extra $30 payment. It is unclear if the testing backers will continue to receive the 50-percent three-year Coin products discount.
Coin is able to hold the details of multiple credit and debit cards, scanned in via a Square-style device attached to a smartphone. When stored, Coin is able to switch between the cards via a button press, with the magnetic strip automatically changing to match the card at the time of swiping.