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Fitbit buys Coin platform for mobile payments

by Jacob Kleinman | May 18, 2016May 18, 2016 9:00 pm PDT

Fitbit is best known for its simple fitness tracking bands, but the company is ready to expand into new territory. The San Francisco firm announced on Wednesday that it’s acquired Coin‘s wearable payments platform. The rest of the Coin company, best known for its smart card, is pretty much shutting down… or so it sounds.

The Fitbit deal includes key Coin employees and the company’s technology. However, Fitbit says it won’t be rushing to incorporate mobile payments in the immediate future. We won’t see the first mobile payment capable wearables from the firm until at least next year as it begins to integrate NFC into future devices.

“We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most,” said Fitbit CEO James Park. “Coin has been one of the key innovators in advanced payment solutions. The inclusion of their payment technology into our offerings will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people’s lives.”

As for Coin, the company is essentially shutting down operations. The current Coin 2.0 card is already sold out with no plans to restock, and the rewards and developer programs have been suspended. If you already have a Coin, it should still work for as long as the built-in 2-year battery lasts, and by then Fitbit will likely be ready with its first mobile payments wearable.

Fitbit Coin

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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