A fictional conversation with the CEO of Coin

  • Coin is a startup that wants to compile all your cards into one. Additionally they plan to use Bluetooth LE to make sure you're always near your Coin card. I didn't sit down with the CEO of Coin, Kanishk Parashar, to learn more.
  • Me: What do I do with all my cards once I've loaded them onto my Coin?
  • KP: Keep them somewhere safe.
  • Me: Locked in my safe at home?
  • KP: Sure!
  • Me: What if I want to buy something online while I'm at work?
  • KP: Well, then... hmm
  • Me: And what happens when the battery on my phone goes?
  • KP: You won't be able to use Coin.
  • Me: Ah! I better bring my regular cards with me as a backup then? heh!
  • KP: Well, no, that's not really the point.
  • Me: Speaking of batteries, what happens when the card's battery goes?
  • KP: You'll need to buy a new one. It lasts a long time, up to 2 years.
  • Me: Kind of like a regular card?
  • KP: Yes.
  • Me: And I'll need to purchase a new one from you, as opposed to getting one for free of my bank?
  • KP: Yes.
  • Me: What if I loose my phone, and I really need to pay for a cab?
  • KP: You can always pay with cash?
  • Me: But that requires using Coin to access my money at the ATM? Speaking of which, do these cards even work on ATMs? I imagine they are a little thicker than regular cards. All this doesn't matter anyway because my phone is lost so the card will be bricked.
  • KP: This is true.
  • Me: Here in Ireland, we use Chip & Pin cards rather than magnetic strip cards as magnetic strip cards can be very easily copied. In fact, your product is a good example of how easy it is to skim a magnetic strip card. Actually one has to wonder, could I go around with a Coin and skim peoples cards? They'd never know I took their card because well, I didn't, I just duplicated it. You're basically selling card skimmers.
  • KP: * WALKS OUT *
  • I'm being facetious here, but these are genuine concerns I have about the viability of Coin. Convenience and security being the main problems. I've long felt that the inefficiencies we feel around payments stem from the broader mechanics of the financial system. It's incredibly hard, if at times impossible, to build something amazing within a terrible environment. The same mechanic ensures bad management hire bad employees, and so on. To do something truly remarkable, you've got to objectify what we take for granted and then ask why.
  • What is money?
  1. sefsar posted this