1. Forcing me to stay on budget, unless there's an emergency (perhaps allow purchases over budget after the third attempt).
2. Automatically distribute paychecks or other income into different accounts (some to retirement, some to savings, some to checking, w/e...); this behavior could change based on the current distribution of your money too, so if your "emergency fund" got really low you could automatically spend more of your income replenishing it.
3. Deny unwanted transactions and tightly control your own fraud detection (SMS confirmation for every purchase out of your zip code, confirmations for purchases from new places, you name it...).
4. Automate the creation and destruction of virtual cards to minimize danger of online purchases or to make sure that "free trial" never starts charging you.
I'm sure there's tons of other awesome ideas, but I want all of these quite badly.
First of all, there's heavy regulation when it comes to banking software. There are laws and bank regulations that are here to prevent people from losing their money and/or suing the bank for some reason or another. Root needs to take great care to ensure that the software written by their users stays within the boundaries of south african law and their own bank regulations.
Second, the software absolutely needs to be reviewed not just by people from Root but also by a reputable independent consulting company.
Third, Root mustn't allow direct initiation of transactions from their platform to prevent potential disastrous effects due to bugs. You should be able to write code that does something when the money is being received or sent from your account but not code that charges your account.
With great power comes great responsibility. The number of times you say 'perhaps', 'unless', 'so if', or 'could' is so high that you would have to thoroughly review your code before trusting it.
So yeah, be careful but I don't think you could lose your home.
Anyone who thinks they can get away with 3 months of not paying back any kind of credit product, let alone a mortgage, is going to be in trouble. If your friend skipped 3 mortgage payments in a row, I'm surprised they won the case in court. They must have had concrete proof that a bank employee truly misinformed about what it means to miss multiple payments in a single year, let alone 3+ consecutive payments.
It happened to me once. I received an unreasonable bill for building maintenance fees, didn't pay, they sent me a lawyer making more unreasonable demands, I told them to fuck off (after consulting a lawyer myself). The thing is : because I didn't know how much to pay, I didn't pay for several months in a row. I only paid after everything was sorted out. It never went to court BTW, the guy responsible for the mess has been fired and his successor did a great job cleaning it.
This is why he eventually won the case... But the bank was already aware of this, and they were just going through the motions. Either way, be careful.
He did not get his house back though...
It could be in the form of frameworks/libraries, but also full-blown clients. Even if it wasn't your custom code, you could still chose which software fits your needs best.
...If someone wants to say, "well sure, but that's not my money", I hope they'll also name the services or apps they work for, so I can avoid those.
Even then, if I telephone a business on the other side of the country and order something over the phone then the transaction will originate hundreds of miles from where I am. You don't need to be physically present when your card is used. There are many scenarios where a card could appear to move around the country (or world) while still actually being legitimate transactions.
After some time, the MC system seems to have learned my patters and also coordinated with other data. For example, I bought a ticket to US with the same card. No single call on any purchase over there. They knew I was in US and most probably the shopping was legit.
You can call the credit card provider and have your card locked down to just your state, etc.
Or better yet, an app on the phone to just "enable transactions for a minute" since many addresses of POS systems are likely far from the actual POS.
Authorizations of this sort count against your available balance, and time out eventually if not fulfilled; when you look at your account and see "pending charges", this is what they actually are. Not all charges use this process - when the total amount is immediately known, it's generally immediately charged as well. But in any case where the amount may change or the account requires validation before a transaction can proceed, this is how it's done.
Presumably, since a valid authorization constitutes an agreement to pay the charge (hence the language under the signature line on your bar tab), the "enable" step you perform via the API would permit the authorization to occur, and fulfillment would work the same way it does now.
That sounds bizarre and backwards to me! I guess we live in different countries/regions with different conventions. So it probably depends on what people do in South Africa.
And someone should also program it to donate to women's charities when you use Uber..
Let me picture this. You are standing at the checkout of a grocery store with a big shopping basket, and you find out that you are over budget for today ... Not sure if I would like this functionality.
Even people with very little money use credit occasionally, and I can definitely see the benefit of strong-arming a budget so you don't spend money you don't have.
The typical reaction to this scenario is to put back what you have at the grocery store and leave (or put back enough so that you _can_ afford it).
(It could be argued that you don't need a feature like this at all if you have X level of self-control, but many people would benefit from taking any requirement of self-control out of the equation.)
// sweat in hands
// checking bank balance of the account
500 - Bad Gateway
// hurried typing
// enter password
people will just transfer in a small portion of their money to this automatable account and not risk 100%
so while this roboaccount can go mad and empty everything , you are only out say $3K when your traditional main account still has $9999997K
Treasury functions within large corporations do the same thing. They dole out only a portion of the companies wealth to departments so they cannot go mad ( amongst other reasons )
All the rest are great ideas though! ;)