Coin Reprogrammable Card Faces Possible Delays, Tech Changes

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The much-anticipated Coin, a programmable magnetic-stripe card that can store multiple payment accounts, is getting another rush of attention as the company pushes the product's shipping date to next year for new orders.

The clamor started after Coin posted on social media sites that its beta program had expanded to 1,000 people testing the cards on the streets. But the company's social media pages and its own website were updated with "Shipping Spring 2015" labels, when the company originally indicated it would ship its product this summer.

On Facebook, Coin has clarified the spring shipping applies only to consumers placing new pre-orders, "not our initial backers."  However, as August nears its end, some backers complain they still have not received the product they ordered.

When Coin first announced it would be crowdfunding money for development, the company blew through its $50,000 goal in under an hour. Consumers could pre-order the card for $50, with the company stating the device would cost about $100 in the future.

One of the features that separated Coin from its competitors was the "Bluetooth leash," which alerts consumers via their mobile device if they leave their Coin card at a retailer. But in Coin Beta, a new limited-quantity product that the company is making available to early adopters, the Bluetooth functionality is absent, according to an FAQ posted by Coin.

Coin looks similar to several other products in the market today, including Dynamics interactive payment cards and NXT-ID's Wocket wallet. Dynamics cards have a button on the front that allows consumers to rewrite the magnetic stripe to, for example, switch between loyalty and payment accounts. The Wocket wallet is a standalone hardware device that can store multiple payment accounts. Wocket  recently began a celebrity marketing campaign featuring former N*Sync member Joey Fatone and former world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza.

Coin did not respond to inquiries by deadline.

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