November 15, 2013
Credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards – consumers are carrying, and having to keep up with, an increasing number of cards. Despite the efforts of big players like Google, Isis and Paydiant and startups Kuapay and ZooZ to create electronic wallets, plastic still rules, as is evident with the success of Square’s platform. Consumers could choose to store all their cards on a single card and manage it with the smartphone through BLE via San Francisco-based Coin or Omne Card.
Coin was founded in 2012 by Kanishk Parashar (CEO). The startup is backed by investors such as Y – Combinator, K9 Venture funding and Osama Beider, former head of Google Wallet. A pre-order campaign had been planned by Coin for November 15, and the plan was to top out at $50,000. Within 40 minutes, Coin surpassed the goal. So here is a live case study for Omne Card that having a cool product is not the only thing. If you didn’t make a big bang, well, you are not there. The second battleground both companies face going forward is growth hacking.
Coin is a thin credit card sized device which enables users to store other credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, coupons, rewards etc. in its dynamic magnetic strip. The company calls its card – ‘Midnight’.
Here is a video showing how Coin works:
Kanishk Parashar, the CEO of Coin had earlier dipped his nose in the payments space with a startup called SmartMarket. It pulled up customer’s photos on an app and let them pay through their mobile device. According to Kanishk, their app was downloaded by a large number of people but they never got traffic – no payments were going through their platform.
Lets Talk Payments had recently written about Omne card that changes magnetic stripe via smartphone. Omne uses a unique technology that allows the magnetic stripe on the back of the Omne card to change into any verified card loaded by the user onto the Omne Mobile Wallet App. You can save all your cards and use the one according to the purchase situation.
Another card which and basically performs the same functions as Coin and Omne and to be released in 2014 is Echo, by Protean Payment. The Echo system enables users to scan all the magnetic data from their cards into their smartphone and then sync any three cards to the user’s Echo. The Echo takes on the personality of that card by pressing one of the three buttons on it. The Echo can then be swiped just like the user would normally do with his card. Users can easily sync the Echo to their phone to change cards at any time. Protean Payment too uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect Echo to the user’s smartphone.
Flint also operates in this space. However, it is a slightly different and limited concept wherein you can make a payment by allowing the merchant to take a picture of the card.
LTP View: Although, Omne Card solutions have been in the market for some time now, Coin is generating a lot of buzz. Being a Y Combinator company helps. Omne has gone a step further in security though, by providing small buttons at the lower end of the card through which a user can input a lock code or PIN and only then use the preset card. Coin has not yet been released, so there is a lot of room for innovation before the final product is out.