Coin Adds Contactless Payments to Its Multi-Account Card

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Electronic multi-card device maker Coin has added technology to enable contactless payments at some retail locations.

Coin will provide a software update to its device as it adds EMV relationships with merchants. Users of the original version of Coin will be able upgrade for free to the $100 Coin 2.0 device.

The new Coin cards will not have a Near Field Communication chip, but will carry contactless card technology, the company stated on its Website.

San Francisco-based Coin entered the multi-account card market in late 2013. Its rivals include Dynamics and NXT-ID's Wocket wallet, which each have their own approach to consolidating multiple payment accounts into a single device.

A year ago, the company experienced some distribution problems while also making some product decisions that rattled its earliest supporters.

Distribution remains a bugaboo, however, as the company still takes several months to fulfill pre-orders, according to a notice on its website. It began shipping earlier versions of Coin in April.

In upgrading to EMV and contactless payments, the company is acknowledging the ongoing shift in technology at the point of sale, but there are still some ways in which its hardware does not accommodate the new systems merchants are adopting.

Even with the Coin 2.0 upgrade, the device will not work at a merchant location that accepts only contact EMV payments. If the merchant accepts EMV cards through a traditional swipe or contactless reader, the Coin device will be compatible, the company said. Previously, Coin cards did not work at swipe terminals that read both Track 1 and Track 2 data on the magnetic stripe. Coin cards do not carry the Track 1 data that includes the name of the cardholder. Most merchant point of sale systems do not read Track 1 data, the company said.

The Coin 2.0 upgrade also allows users to establish a four-character nickname for payment and indicates on its display whether a card is capable of making contactless payments.

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