Coin is awesome - but my mind is on fees

Yesterday, a YC company called Coin launched an amazing convenience product to let people with multiple Credit/Debit cards manage them all on one physical, bluetooth enabled smart-card. It is an awesome piece of technology that allows consumers to simplify their financial life without asking merchants to adopt anything new. The internet, and I, were thrilled.

I just wanted to take this opportunity while it’s on everyone’s minds to remind you all of something near and dear to my heart: when you make a payment with a credit card, your merchant is losing between 1%-8% in fees, depending on the size and location of a transaction. Even if you primarily use your debit card to make purchases, if you make them online, you are still making the merchant pay “Card Not Present” fees that are typically $.30 +2.75-2.9% per transaction. That means, if you buy something for $10 online, you’re paying $.59in fees, or almost 6% of the purchase. 6% - how much do you think that cuts into the margins of the people from whom you’re buying things?

Who do you think they pass that cost on to? Do you think they eat it? Sometimes. Do they pass it on to you? Most times. And is either result ideal? Why do we NEED to pay for things this way - why don’t we pay for things directly with our bank accounts? Security? Convenience? Of course - but those things aren’t set in stone, they exist as problems we can solve.

But there IS a solution, and my partner and I have built it. It’s faster than paying with a credit card, it’s entirely fee-less, and it’s actually significantly more secure AND faster than a credit card can ever be. I’ll be speaking more specifically about it in the future, but we’re already live and already processing payments with a few alpha-alpha customers. What I want are your thoughts: what do you think about payments? What do you think about fees? What experience do you have with either? The most valuable information we can have right now is perspective from hackers - please help me out if you have thoughts and email me.

Email me @ and let’s chat. I can’t wait to tell you more.

You can also chat with me on Twitter or Hacker News.


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