(1 minute reading time + 1 minute video)

The outline of the Utopia Wallet aims to solve payment fragmentation both for Payers as for Payees. Coin has introduced a card concept which can hold multiple debit and credit cards in one and the same physical entity at the size of regular payment cards. (I particularly like the ability to hook it up to your smartphone for enhanced security by ring-fencing it to the phone’s vicinity. Secondly I like the screen on the card.)

“The consumer gets to keep their habits and the merchants can keep their habits,”

said Kanishk Parashar, Coin’s chief executive, in an interview. via Electronic card start-up ‘Coin’ offering one card to rule them all | Mobile Payments Insider.

The Payer still has to choose the card of choice. So Coin is not solving fragmentation as the subset of cards of the payee needs to overlap at least 1 payment scheme being offered by the Payee. This has been the reality for ages. Bringing the Payers subset to one physical card can be handy but fundamentally it does not solve anything else.

What I find staggering every-time I see a swipe based card is the strange contradiction that the US is much more prone to innovation in general and payments innovation in particular then the EU but the technology in use is outdated and prone to large scale misuse.

(Update 28-01-’14: In this post about the Apple Wallet I postulate the reversal of the payments chain where the payer has the terminal instead of the payee as it is today eradicating the need for swiping the card through the terminal.)

(Update 12-2-’14: via The Verge The US is finally switching over from insecure credit card signatures to PINs

By the way: why is Coin called “Coin” and not “Card” as it has nothing in common with coins?