Coin is primarily known for making one of the first “smart” credit cards. This hasn’t exactly worked out well, but it does mean that Coin has learned a thing or two about how to integrate payment systems into hardware. The company is teaming up with MasterCard to get other companies to integrate mobile payments into basically anything and everything that can fit an NFC chip inside it.
The program is a small iteration on something MasterCard announced last October, in which MasterCard was setting up essentially the same thing: tokenized payment systems device makers could embed in virtually anything. The change here at CES is that Coin is going to provide both the software and hardware to other manufacturers so they have what amounts to a turnkey solution for adding payments to their devices. MasterCard has already gotten its payment system set up with key fobs, rings, and wristbands.
To start, the two companies have partnerships set up with Atlas wearables, Moov, and Omate — all of whom make wearable or fitness devices. The idea is that if you’re out for a run, you can just use the fitness band you’ve already got on you to buy something. That makes sense, but it also may mean you’ve got yet another payment system to set up and think about — one that presumably isn’t fully integrated either into your Apple Pay or Android Pay setup. That may be a small price to pay (ahem) to not have to carry your phone around as you exercise, but it’s a price that’s probably not going to go away anytime soon. Thanks to Apple and Google, mobile payments are much less of a mess than they used to be, but the traditional payments players aren’t willing to cede the entire market to them just yet.