Recently, a small company in San Francisco named Coin released an idea. I only call it an idea because they cannot actually sell their product yet. The suggestion is to have one single credit card to manage all of your credit cards.
I love the concept, but it has some huge hurdles. The company has not yet negotiated a usage agreement with the four major credit card companies — Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover — in order to bring this product to market. Plus, your phone also has to be on in order for it to work, so if your battery is dead, you are unable to pay.
Most everyone has more than one credit card, debit card or gift card. So how do we simplify our life yet still make everything secure and easy to use? I have seen different ideas try to tackle managing credit cards, but I don't think we are asking the right questions. Instead of asking how to manage our credit cards, we should be asking why we are using credit cards at all. Can we imagine a way to pay for something without having to carry a card or cash?
Coin’s idea helps us limp along with cards. But in looking at true innovation disruptions, banks and credit unions have an opportunity to make managing credit an opportunity to deliver a new product. If Coin’s idea becomes a reality, I look forward to using this new product in the future (wisely).