UPDATE: Coin has hit its $50,000 pre-order goal in just 40 minutes.
Everyone in the mobile space is trying to crack how customers will pay with their smartphones. No one seems to have figured it out yet - just look at Google Wallet, Passbook, ISIS, and others. None has really taken off.
A company dubbed Coin, backed by Y Combinator, wants to change that by taking a step back from the smartphone. Coin is set to launch in summer of 2014, and will actually be a tiny computer you carry around in your pocket that stores all of your credit, debit and loyalty cards in one plastic card. People will leave their smartphones out of the equation for payments and instead swipe a card like normal.
Cards are loaded to the Coin through a 3mm jack that hooks into the iPhone and coordinates with an app. The app will scan the card, take a picture of it, and load it to your Coin for later purchases. Of course, you wouldn't want to use your personal card for a business meeting. To select a card when making a purchase, the Coin has a button you can press to sort through them.
The battery on the Coin lasts for two years, so it won't need to be charged. But users will apparently have to buy a new one when the time rolls around.
There are also some other cool features a regular plastic card wouldn't have. The Coin has Bluetooth LE inside, so it can sync with your smartphone so you can locate a lost card. You'll be pinged with a push notification on your phone, if that happens. Security wise, Coin says cards are synced with its own servers and every transaction has 128/256-bit encryption.
Coin is available to pre-order now for $50 and is currently slated to ship in summer 2014.