Coin – A Smart Credit Card

A few years ago, when Square launched, I was pretty negative about the hype surrounding it mostly because the continued dependency on magnetic stripe bank cards in the US mystifies me. Now I am starting to see smart card and NFC touch payment terminals appear in more and more merchants. So, I was disappointed to see Coin launch what is essentially another solution dependent on the extremely dated magnetic stripe technology.

Admittedly, all the credit cards in my wallet are still using magnetic stripes, but that is something I am seriously hoping will change soon. When I left the UK, almost 16 years ago now, smart cards were already common (locally referred to as “chip & pin”). So why are all these technology companies, not to mention the banks, still focused on magnetic stripes with all of their inherent security problems.

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Ferry Gets Half-Baked Clipper Support

The recent addition of Clipper card readers at the ferry terminals in Alameda and SF looked like at long last the ferry service was going to get Clipper support so books of paper tickets would no longer be needed. And so it is, on October 1st.

Unfortunately, as with many aspects of the SF Bay area public transit system, those in charge of planning the addition of Clipper apparently don't use the service at all, or even listen to people who do.

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