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Coin apologizes for delaying its credit card replacement device, fixes its beta program

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The makers of a digital credit card replacement device named Coin had some bad news for its early supporters yesterday. After months of work, the company was forced to push back its release date at the last minute from this summer to next spring as it tries to finalize the hardware. And Coin said the best it could offer its early supporters was a non-final beta version of the hardware this fall.

Now Coin is making an about-face to try and appease some of its frustrated supporters. In a lengthy apology letter (password: letter), the company admitted that its original summer 2014 ship date was "overly optimistic." To make up for its mistakes, the Coin team says it will open up the beta hardware to 15,000 early backers — 50 percent more users than the original announcement — and they note that "we’ll do our best to grow this number over time."

"This is not a cost for you to bear."

Most importantly, the company is reversing one of the more confounding policies in its original announcement. Early backers who opt to join the beta program will also be entitled to the final hardware when it comes out next spring at no additional cost. On Friday, the company had said that beta testers would forfeit their rights to the final hardware and would have to pay an additional $30 if they wanted to upgrade to the finished product. Explaining its decision, the team notes that "we ... realize that this is not a cost for you to bear."

Coin, a card-shaped device that stores up to eight credit cards at a time and allows you to use them at any cash register with a magnetic swipe reader, was first announced last November. The device has an accompanying management app and a card reader that plugs into your smartphone for its initial setup procedure. According to the company, a limited beta test in San Francisco has revealed that the device is working at just 85 percent of store locations, so it has decided to expand the beta before shipping the final product. The beta device is missing a Bluetooth function that informs owners when they leave the device behind. If you were one of the first to pre-order the device, check out the FAQ for more information on how to request beta access.