This is something I have been asking for since forever! People on here claimed it was "impossible" because of how credit cards work, I guess not...
> Tired of your monthly yoga pants subscription? Or a two-week "free" trial that lasted four months? Just deactivate that card number. It's that easy.
They need to be careful what they advise. That advice could (and likely WILL) result in people getting taken to collections.
Don't like your ISP? Just cancel the CC number, then 12 months later get a bailiff turn up and seize your stuff...
If you get taken to collections over a trivial amount (<$100), its not into taken account for your credit score (latest FICO model fixed that).
Have to go to court for collections? The first words out of your mouth need to be, "Verify the debt." Ask them to produce the document you signed and agreed to. In the vast majority of cases, without this, your case will be dropped with prejudice. This is based on research I did while dealing with a personal mortgage "issue".
Some companies (like say gym membership) have internal collections departments that can be quite aggressive. They would certainly be able to back up any lawsuit.
In general, you really want to try to avoid being sued.
4 states prohibit wage garnishments at all, and other states set the maximum at between 15-25% of your disposable income: http://www.walkawayfromdebt.com/worksheets&charts/wage-garni... (Disclaimer: Colorado SUCKS. They permit up to 75% of disposable income to be collected).
I've helped negotiate away quite a bit of unsecured debt for close friends. Its easier than you think.
Debt is a contractual issue, not a moral one. As HackerNews entrepreneurs should keep in mind, its the ability to easily shed debt (and not be shackled to those debts for decades) in the US that creates the environment for startups to take the risks they do.
If you borrow money for any reason with the understanding that you'll pay it back, but you secretly intend to keep it all along, then you are doing something wrong (morally if not legally).
We are in complete agreement then. To do otherwise would be, in my opinion, fraud.
Keeping one's word is always a moral issue. The bad practices of others (businesses or individuals) do not change the value of my word.
Changing terms after the fact, dark patterns, charging for things the customer didn't agree to, over billing for cable services in the hope the customer just doesn't notice or gets worn down by trying to fight it.
There are a lot of times the corporation is unequivocally in the wrong, but they already billed your card and you have to fight to get it back. Being able to cancel the card first and force the corporation to take you to court and prove their case could help put the consumer on a more level playing field.
The interest rate is set by the fact that money-NOW is worth more than money-in-a-few-months-or-years. This is also the case if it's certain you will get the money.
I never considered that risk would also be a factor in interest rates. It makes sense, but I really doubt it's a very big factor. Since in most cases debt means you will eventually get the money back, the risk is very little (depending on economic health, I guess). But the "money now vs money then" factor is always present.
Can anyone with a little more insight into these matters inform us whether risk of not being paid back actually represents a substantial amount of the interest rate? Cause I doubt it.
> There's nothing at all immoral about choosing to suffer the hit on your credit rather than repay as both options are expected possible outcomes in the original deal.
Is that how it works in America? Because as an outsider, this sounds very weird to me.
Say you have a debt with me, you fail to repay me but instead you opt to "take a hit on your credit score", which is, I presume, some sort of abstract "score" number kept by agreements between cc-corporations, banks and such? (or is it a government thing? probably not)
So this credit score determines whether you can get certain loans at banks, interest rates for your credit cards, stuff like that yes?
In the mean time there's me. What do I care about your credit score? Do I get to think, "hey I didn't get my money, but at least that guy is going to have a shitty time securing loans from now on and having a stable financial future". How does that help me? You still screwed me over by not paying me back, and the simple fact that, in the process, you also screwed yourself over doesn't help me at all. I'm not the vindictive kind, and some abstract revenge credit score "punishment" you suffer in your standing with other institutions won't get me my money back.
See, this doesn't make it moral, at all.
The fact that we both know, if you don't pay me back, you'll be screwing yourself over by means of credit score, just means that I might be more likely to believe you that you'd rather pay back your debt than suffer that hit. Meaning less risk for me. But if it turns out that not paying and suffering the hit is in fact a serious alternative option for you (instead of a deterrent), you may as well say "I'll pay you back or I stab myself in the eye"--what do I care? (well in fact I would prefer if you didn't, because in my personal ethical framework, such deals themselves are immoral)
Put yourself in the shoes of a lender. On one hand is a doctor, $300k salary, looking to borrow $30k for a new boat. 780 fico. On the other is Trevor, a bartender who makes $25k a year, has a 680 fico with some late payments and a cable bill collection from 2 years ago and wants $30k for a new car.
Would you lend to them both at the same rate? Both will have the same time value effects....
No, interest rates are a measure of risk; the bigger the risk of default the higher the interest rate. Bad credit score equals very high interest rate.
Secondly, stop pretending you're the lender, we're talking about banks here, not personal loans from friends.
When you take out a loan with a bank, it's a business deal with explicit exit strategies baked in: pay off loan, or default loan. Both options are valid exits according to the contract. Morality simply isn't a factor in this equation.
"At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed."
It's interesting to imagine a world where there was no legal recourse to someone not paying back debt: easy to imagine some first-order consequences, harder to see how it'd change the grand scheme of things. I suspect it would end up being a much better world, but I come from a very anti-debt perspective.
I think it sounds scary. If I enter into a contract that says I have to do something in exchange for something else, I'd like a court to honor that contract, and not -- somewhat arbitrarily I'd say -- declare debts in the contract invalid after seven years.
Imagine no one being able to issue debt with a maturity of more than 7 years. That would be the consequence of such an interference into the market. This means our economy as a whole would become even more sensitive to interest rate volatility, as you can't secure the interest on a loan for more than 7 years at a time.
I'm not saying that having a bunch of debt is good. But imagine where you'd be right now if you couldn't get a student loan for an education. Or finance a car or a house. I'm pretty sure I would not be where I am now if I hadn't gone to school... which I would not have been able to do without a student loan. And I never would have been able to get a house without a loan.
I think it's also easy to overstate how much loaning would decrease. The widespread use of credit scores when issuing loans belies the idea that it's only state violence that ensures people pay back debts.
Maybe it'd make sense in a totally anonymous world, but why not just do business with people or entities you can trust? Think web of trust. That's what consumers and businesses de facto do nowadays anyway.
You could still issue debt; it's just you can't expect to have violence to back it up. Past decisions and alignment of lender and borrower self-interest determine the likelihood of it being paid back.
If you borrow money, and you agree to pay it back, there should be a good faith effort to do so.
But that is only one type of debt.
In the US, where I live, Apartments are incredibly bad about charging fees after you move out, and give you very little recourse before sending you to collections.
Parking tickets, and red light camera tickets are huge sources of revenue for the city, and Seattle uses them when they need to increase city coffers.
I look at it this way, if they're not going to play by the rules, I won't either.
Also, I don't like paying for stuff.
I'm sorry for your loss. But this is why we should all strive to repay our debts... even to corporations. I would imagine that some of your customers that stiffed you may have had the very attitude you described when you said "But from a corporation? Their losses are priced into their interest rate." They, too, may have assumed that your loss was priced into your rates. It must not have been. Perhaps other businesses don't either. It makes you wonder just how many people/business get totally screwed by people defaulting on debt to them. You suggested that chasing might understand differently if s/he had lost a business. Of course you are also entitled to your opinion. But, honestly, I'm a little sad that you don't see the other side of it, having been shattered by people not making good on their debt to you.
 I understand that Corporation ("big C") is generally directed at the big, huge things like Walmart and Chevron. But corporation ("little c") is just a legal term and can still be the small business down the street.
Unless you take things from people. People are different. Then you should pay for those things by bleeding all over the snow or whatever. (I don't know how money works in your country. In the US we usually just use dollars. There's not much snow right now and having everyone's blood everywhere can lead to public health problems. See also: Ebola.)
Anyway. Thank god there are no people at corporations. And thank god all corporations are the size of Walmart and can easily withstand financial losses due to non-payment.
Well, you should care, because they factor it in by increasing prices for consumers. You're just getting everyone else that shops at Walmart to cover your debt. That's irresponsible, and I see no difference between owing Walmart $10 and owing your friend $10.
This is the type of situation where I believe the victims(yes, I'm using that word) deserve to have their debt removed.
It is really a fabulous book, and can help explain why many people in many cultures feel as you do, who benefits from that belief, but also how debt has never historically been about moral obligations but has always been a contract between two parties, with limitations on both party's obligations.
In reality, companies will do almost anything to avoid suing you for small amounts of money. The financials don't make sense. E.g. how much gym debt would it take to justify a lawyer's fees to pursue you? Not less than several thousand dollars, probably much more.
I'm pretty sure the big gyms that have in-house collections. I would imagine people signing a year contract and then changing their mind and trying to get out of it happens quite often.
In any case, if you're wilfully and knowingly taking on debts you can't repay and using a card like this to CYA, your bigger risk in some places might be getting arrested for criminal fraud. Good luck ever getting credit again whatever the CRAs say about you if you've also got a criminal record for a fraud-related offence.
Here's how the process plays out:
When you owe a debt what happens is the lender will contact you a few times and then, if you don't pay, they will sell the debt on to people who are in the collections business. And over the course of a year or two your debt will likely change hands multiple times, at incredible devaluation. (Listen to the This American Life episode, it's great in this regard.)
These companies will make all sorts of outlandish claims about what might happen if you don't pay. In reality, nothing at all will happen outside of the hit your credit rating will take if they take the issue that far. All things considered, that's a non-issue for most people facing debts they have no way of repaying.
In the not very likely event you are actually summoned to court, what will happen is that the lawyers working for the current owner of your debt will try to strong-arm you before you go before a judge. They'll say 'let's settle this now before things get serious in there' etc., and will offer to accept a fraction of what the paper says you owe.
That's when you ask, 'where is your witness?'. The chances of the 2nd or 3rd collection agency to purchase your packaged debt being able to haul into court the very same loan officer who witnessed you sign for a loan years ago approaches zero for cases involving less than seven figure sums.
Source: advice given to me by a debt counselor during my own business loan default 'issue'.
Update: the idea of bad debt ruining your credit score is a myth. I defaulted on a high-five-figure debt and two years later qualified for a six-figure mortgage with a mid-five-figure income. Most of the talk of 'this will go down on your permanent record' is FUD.
On point #2, also false. Bad debt impacts your FICO score - often severely - but that impact is lessened with time. A 90-day or 120-day late (effectively a charge off) can ding a score 20 - 150 points easily depending on other credit factors. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "this won't be that bad" is not a good policy. While the record is not "permanent" (7 years for standard debt, 10 years for bankruptcies), they can have a significant impact.
This is after 3+ years of daily collections calls from half a dozen companies pursuing a high five-figure debt.
The takeaway being: debt is a business phenomenon and discussions about it are a negotiation. I negotiated hard; when my offers of partial repayment were refused I never answered their calls again. In fact I created a special, looong outgoing voicemail message that sounded like I was answering the phone ("Hello? What? Hello? Are you there? Okay, a large pizza? We don't do gluten free!") and forwarded any unrecognized number to it straightaway. Just maybe that made someone laugh and they decided to toss my file.
Had I gotten a summons, I was advised by a lawyer to demand a witness. I never tested that tactic, but I do suspect that if someone had the means to extract money from me they would have, and they did not.
It's all about recoverability and risk over return. Most of the time a 5-figure debt will be worth the effort. When you start getting into $5k or less debts, it's sort of a crapshoot. The original owner of the debt will often sell it for pennies on the dollar, at which point a collector will do their best to get as much as they can out of people without a civil case, because civil cases are expensive and there's no real guarantee of return (people with no money, people on the verge of bankruptcy, etc).
The general advice is not to negotiate at all with creditors. Once something's gone into collections, you will see no benefit to resolving the debt other than mitigating your risk of a law suit. And even at that point, the first phase is a mediation option wherein you'd again be able to throw out a number, do a payment plan, etc.
Lenders do not update to the latest Fico version the way we all buy new iPhones. Many lenders integrate Fico scoring into proprietary models.
Having ANY collection will hurt you, period. Even under $100. Even if it doesn't drop your fico, American Express for example won't open you an account with an open collection. Any mortgage lender would make you settle the collection before closing. So in summary, i think your advice here is very bad. Yes, if you have a collection, you MAY be able to have it removed from your reports without waiting 7 years. But it's not black and white.
Risk profiles at a company like Amex are sophisticated. But you're somebody who apparently is sharing his high-earner status here, but you don't think that was an important caveat to your original post? It's like you're saying "CREDIT DOESNT MATTER*" and in fine print you're saying "if you have enough cash to put 50% down on things and have a high income!"
It's bad advice to give, which was my point, and one I'll standby. Nothing personal of course.
Despite filing disputes, it remains on my report as a $500 non-payment.
I have been able to get other items removed using your strategy but it doesn't always work.
edit: They also had an SMS cash thing where you can "send" cash to anyone, which is really a code you can use at any ATM to redeem cash.
In Europe anyone can send money online to any other account in the EU, given the account number, usually for free.
The fact that the US doesn't have that as commonplace as in Europe is ridiculous
Canada is slightly better, they already are ditching the magnetic stripes off cards.
Whether one can do it online depends on the bank, but most US banks and credit unions now have the ability to allow transfers and payments to anyone given a postal address (to be fair, if its just to a person, the bank may issue a paper check instead of a true electronic transfer. Sigh). They mostly call this "online bill pay" or other names, but it's become pretty full featured. In addition, most US banks are allying themselves with various person-to-person payment systems (Popmoney, though archaic and painful in use, is used by many US banks including Ally, Bank of America, TD Bank, Citibank, Fifth Third Bank, PNC, Regions, Suntrust, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, for example; Chase has it's own system as do some others. ClearXchange, Dwolla, Venmo, Paypal, and a slew of others are also gunning for this space).
So, yes, lots of problems, but I don't know if above is entirely a fair statement.
- This money transfer system works if you have (any) bank account. If you have a bank account that's all it needs (and no sign up)
- It does not depend on any action on the receiving part (so no depositing a cheque or something similar).
- It takes a couple of days tops
- A fee is acceptable, if it's something like $5 at most
- It works for large amounts (for buying a car or a house for example)
- It is trusted. If the money shows in your account that's it (unlike a cheque)
If it has this features, great.
Every time my cleaning lady comes, I just leave a check for her on the counter. I could leave cash but then I have to make sure I have that much cash on hand every time. I could probably get an account number from her and do some sort of transfer each time. But honestly, that doesn't sound at all easier for me than just writing a check. I think that is the only check I write on a regular basis anymore. I used to send my gardener a check but I started paying his invoice online through my bank. And I'm pretty sure they actually print a check and mail it to him on my behalf. :)
That may be true but most people seem to have decided that the convenience of not needing to transfer a physical item outweighs those problems.
You already give your acc number for your job.
I do that (sending and receiving money) and guess what, most of the people never changed bank acc numbers (including me). If it changes it's a non-issue.
Especially because payments either happens frequently (paying rent, for example) or it's a one-off thing.
I don't get why should I have to write a check to a landlord when they could give me they account number and let me set up a recurring payment (that's exactly what happens in Europe)
Cost to go online and have my bank mail someone a paper cheque: $0 and I need their name and address.
Guess how I send people money?
Here, transfers are free and any "paper" business such as check cashing/bill payment has steep fees.
How can your banks provide you with the labor intensive service for free and charge for what is cheaper to provide? Aren't they creating a customer behavior they don't want?
The wire, however, including the account (the routing number can be looked up by your bank; it just saves time if you already have it) is a very specific approach to transferring money in a certified manner. It's older, and has some overhead and history in how it's tracked and managed, if for no other reason than that the funds are guaranteed. As such, there are still fees on it (and that's probably true in most countries, btw, unless you have a balance over a certain amount).
Most folks paying their babysitter $40 aren't concerned about a certified transfer, and assume they will have funds to cover the check when cashed, so they don't need to pay any fees and will just do a regular "check". And I would bet that the banks are working on ways to do a better job of making electronic links to reduce their need to print those checks (for example, perhaps if I keep paying my babysitter 2 or more times, the bank could automatically check the clearning house for the deposited check, and, in the future, autonegotiate a direct link with the babysitters bank and account for payment or something clever like that; I don't know if that would really work but sounds cool).
I'm not sure what the costs are for wiring as it is usually packaged. I pay $30-40/year for Internet bank w unlimited wiring including p2p through phone number (yes guaranteed/negotiated transfer to the babysitter!). Meanwhile cash-paying a bill or cashing a check is probably $10 a pop, simply because banks are trying very very hard to get rid of two things: cash and staff. that makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.
The easy manner of depositing means that it is still quite common for them process cheques.
By the way, I live in a small German town that only got its first EC card (or cash card POS) about 10 years ago.
I don't get bills on paper, much less pay them that way. I come from the future though. You'll love it. You won't believe this but I'm typing this very message on a palm sized computer/telephone device.
I mean each insurance company etc. can't each be setting up their own solutions for online payments, right?
Why not ditch checks and just set up a reliable/cheap money transfer system? It's peculiar how the country that is at the epicenter of the world economy and the Internet doesn't actually use the Internet for money related things (tax returns, banking, insurance...).
Because that's what terrorists would do.
I don't use the magnetic strip (only chip) and I don't without pin. Online use of MC/Visa passes through SecureCode/Verified by visa to ensure that leaking the CC details from a third party shouldn't be causing any skimming of my account. It's not fool proof but I'd say it's at least safer than cash and checks.
The same here, but then I encounter more and more places where they offer you to type your pin only in an open and insecure manner. This sadly makes the pin usage a joke and something of a hassle compared to the older magnetic strips.
united states in general enjoyed some time where people did little to defraud system and therefore number (and later exp date, later - cvv) was fine. You can't rely on people's integrity and morale now as a safe-guard for system. Same applies to paper checks by the way.
In case of turkey I bet that defrauding was problem from beginning, that's why it was first thing to solve too.
If anything, it just tells that doing tech business in usa will be more fictitious than it could be otherwise.
Would appreciate if you could give some examples for non-US customers, at least for another point of comparison.
That said, I don't think it has an Android app, just a mobile website. The app that shows in Google Play is just a shortcut to the website (built by an unaffiliated developer).
And of course, it doesn't even any of the notification stuff, it's just a gateway to your regular bank account. Nor does it have physical cards.
MBnet is made by SIBS, the same entity that controls all the ATM.
I am reasonably sure ING and unicredit did that too some years ago.
Definitely not impossible, but if you are following the ISO you might end up running out of numbers somewhat quickly or having to reuse them, which I'm not sure it's very safe. But it really comes down to how many users you will have.
The IIN (first 6 digits) are fixed and only one can be issued for each company, etc.
I built a small gem that implements the ISO if you want to have a look: https://github.com/eduardordm/iso7812
> This is something I have been asking for since forever! People on here claimed it was "impossible" because of how credit cards work, I guess not...
My Bank of America Visa had a "temporary number generator" feature that I used when buying from sites that I thought were sketchy. I haven't used the card in some time so don't know if it still exists.
It exists still, but you have to login to the site to use it, and the card generator is written in Flash.
Aside from that, it's very good. It ties the number to the merchant and you can set a limit and expiration date.
I use it for a lot of recurring subscriptions, and "sketchy sites" purchases.
Can you provide URL/directions? I'm not kidding. As far as I could tell, they used to have such a service but didn't anymore; but maybe it's still hidden somewhere but just not advertised, and I couldn't find it?
ApplePay and other phone wallets do something similar, generating new numbers for the payment but leaving the original number on the device or in the account. This is indeed more transparent to the user, but it doesn't give the control of capping or other levers.
Doing it via the card is clever, if that's what they are doing; if they are just doing it via the mobile app, that's somewhat old news... except for the other features, and the elegant giving of control to the consumer.
I previously worked at a web hosting company where people would pull this kind of thing. Generally we didn't bother with collections because it was often more hassle than it was worth (the biggest part of our cost was the support and anti-fraud process, not the actual service), but nonpayment would get accounts deactivated and blacklisted automatically, so they'd have to call in to us (and get recorded in our tracking system in case of repeat incidents) to pay and get things turned back on.
I had some sympathy for people dealing with accidental credit card expirations, but there was always a weird minority of people who would knowingly and sometimes repeatedly cancel cards or dispute payments and yet get angry at us for the audacity of turning off their websites.
I do this all the time with PayPal. It's way easier to just sign up for a free trial then immediately deactivate the recurring payment than having to remember to cancel it later.
> Don't like your ISP? Just cancel the CC number, then 12 months later get a bailiff turn up and seize your stuff...
Cancelling payments like that is what a lot of UK banks do advise their customers to do. Particularly with (but not exclusive to) insurance services. I've known banks actually recommend cancelling the payments through them instead of trying to cancel via the company itself.
Services like internet / phone lines, gas and electric would be different though since they're paid in arrears.
In general, the way recurring payments are setup seems really bad.
Not only is it not impossible, Paypal did it for YEARS, I loved it, it was a great service. http://www.quora.com/Why-did-PayPal-discontinue-their-one-ti...
The programmer in me tells me "this just can't be secure", and the only hope I have that my card number is never stolen is, well, hope.
So the point is technology and the idea is pretty old but finally someone has implemented it right.
Why not just cancel the subscription? If you remembered you are getting charged for a subscription, and took the effort to cancel that card number. Why wouldn't you just cancel the subscription in the first place?
In fact, I don't even want a physical card (chip and pin will make that difficult anyway), I just want an online service that will generate a new credit card number for me on demand.
The budget tracking etc. is nice (and I understand why you want to add it for customer engagement and blah) but I'd love a totally stripped down service that gives me card numbers and pings me when they're used - and I would happily pay for it.
How many times have you found yourself shying away from a site because you were worried about what they'd do with your credit card number? This isn't a perfect solution (especially with the limited pool of numbers), but it's nice.
If I had a local bank it wouldn't have been much of a problem as I would have been able to withdraw funds in person. I agree that chargebacks are pretty easy but in my experience the card itself had to be canceled and reprinted causing an inconvenience. Luckily I have credit cards for emergencies such as this.
All things considered it wasn't a huge deal to me personally but I could see how fraud could potentially be quite the problem for some.
Edit: To add, I also needed to print out, sign, and fax an affidavit form for my bank along with a scan of the card itself to prove it was still in my possession.
It happened to me but I got lucky with my CU's fraud detection (froze the card after 2 hours), but took about 8 hours of my time to sort out. Now when I'm at that random liquor store on the corner I tend to ask myself, "Could this be another compromised card reader?"
It's mildly inconvenient to update my recurring billing info, but it's not something I feel like I need a product to solve.
Also, three out of the last four times my card was compromised, it happened during a trip or once the day before I left (on a Saturday). So an overnighted card didn’t really help me. I have backup cards, but it’s still a hassle.
Finally, because fraud is so rampant, the banks seem to have gotten super paranoid about suspicious charges. I’ve had my card declined at the grocery store I shop at multiple times per week. My spouse had her card declined at a local clothing store. Again, not a huge deal because we have backup cards, but it’s both annoying and embarrassing when this happens.
I'm wondering why it's not more widespread. My (small) bank has been providing me a unique card number for every purchase for at least the last 5 years, and they're not usually on the cutting edge regarding banking technology. You can also give a maximum amount that can be withdrawn on the card, and once someone has withdrawn money using that number, no one else can do it.
Only real downside is that the generated cards are all MasterCard, and some merchants don't take anything but Visa.
Too bad they got caught up in the stupid anti-online poker bollocks a while back and can't service US customers.
Final is what we built to take back control of our own credit cards for how and when we’re charged, instead of leaving it up to merchants. That led to merchant-specific numbers and limits, managed automatically, as well as transparency in statements. It’s our stake in the ground, a way to shift the culture in credit towards consumer friendliness.
Happy to answer questions
Is there a limit on how many customers/unique card numbers you can have, and is there an inherent cost in gaining a new number (e.g. will accounts be capped at X disposable numbers per Y period).
Once you delete a card number how quickly is it returned to the "pool?" And do you re-assign it to a new user requesting a number?
Do you think third party web-sites will break because a card number is used twice for two different users (e.g. user 1 and user 2 both have the same number on their accounts, because user 1 let it expire, and then user 2 received it and utilised it).
Are you worried that these numbers could be used for fraud or abuse (e.g. unlimited trials).
Will this be any different with Final? If so, how do you plan to make money?
Banks work hard to make sure credit card holders are happy. After all, it's fairly easy to switch credit cards.
It's the merchants that have the short end of the stick in the three way relationship between banks, customers and merchants.
Most Visa and MC cards are branded as such but are actually backed by some other institution, like Bank of America or Chase.
We're building this product for ourselves and for our friends first. And many of them are unhappy with how banks treat customers and optimize for fees and increasing debt.
We don't think encouraging conspicuous consumption is the only way to be a successful credit card company.
"you agree that we may provide any of the information we have collected from you in non-personally identifiable form to an Advertiser, in order for that Advertiser to select the appropriate audience for those advertisements and/or offers."
"Final is aligned with you"
No, not aligned with me at all.
Why can't we have a business model that is straight up, you know, where the ENTIRE relationship is between you and us, the end user, where your profit comes ENTIRELY by making us happy. The free-market works much better that way.
Advertising never makes anything free or cheaper. Quite the opposite: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8372640
Also, does Final aim to become a credit card payments processor similar to Visa, Mastercard, et. al., or will you be leveraging a banking/credit institution in the backend to start with?
1) I presume since you'll be an actual credit card, there's an issuing bank behind you somewhere. Are you an actual startup, or is this a "division" of some huge bank trying to appeal to the tech set? Can you talk about who your issuing bank is?
Thanks! (I signed up.)
2) We'll work with ApplePay 100% (currently its the only way to get to the NFC chip on the iPhone)
Why would I use this over something like ApplePay?
Do I need a "final card" for each of my credit cards? Or can I tie it into 1 final card (Mostly for online purchases). Or complete new credit card?
What do costs look like? Or if it's a new line of credit, do I get reward points/etc?
Pretty sure this is a completely new card, as in, you apply for a final card then you cut up all your old ones and close those accounts.
Enter your emaill address for early access...
Will Final actually partner with a financial institution to issue a card that I'll have to apply and have its own limits.
I'll be able to use my own credit card, and Final is just a proxy?
I'm really pissed off I paid for coin. I'm not going to pay a dime for plastc or this until it's released.
1. These guys have produced numerous videos for businesses that have gone viral and spread to millions of people. That's not to say that others can't do the same thing -- just that these guys have a history of success, which suggests that not possessing an "everyman" aesthetic may not be such a bad thing.
2. Most companies that use Sandwich for their videos are early stage startups looking for early adopters. Lots of early adopters work in tech and live in the Bay Area. So at this stage, making a video that would appeal to this niche of people makes perfect sense.
3. Being different (hipster) makes the audience remember the video, and hence the product, which is the purpose of the video.
"It's easy to think that the ads are designed to draw in the demo shown in the ads, but that's not the way advertising works, and consequently that's not how America works. If you're watching it, it's for you. These ads play heavy during late and late late night talk shows: the target is boring middle aged white people. Blackberry isn't targeting gays and limber blondes, it's pretending they are already on board so you don't feel like a dork without a touch screen."
The first time I saw the video, I certainly wondered if Final was either a follow-on product or pivot from the makers of Coin.
"Oh the guys at coin pivoted to this, awesome!"
The problem is going to be PCI compliance - the rules that govern merchant procedure for accepting physical credit cards. Specifically, the last 4 digits must be visually validated on the card and typed in to avoid cloned cards (chips largely solve this) in most stores.
Furthermore, giving a new CC number to each transaction is going to deplete the pool of available CC numbers rather soon (as im sure everyone knows, CC number is not just random collection of 16 numbers 0-9).
As other people pointed out, this solves a non-problem: if i don't want to be liable for a fraudulent purchase, i just use a credit card, not a debit card. In case of CC fraud, it is the MERCHANT who is responsible, not the customer or the bank.
Monitoring software that flags "odd" purchases is all that's needed - and banks have been running such things for ages.
Yes, there is hassle if your CC gets lifted/swiped, but chances are, its not an evil hacker doing it, but that cute waitress at your local bar with a $30 ghost reader in her hand.
Unless the physical card generates a new number on EACH swipe, it is just another example of technology looking to complicate an otherwise streamlined process.
/rant over :)
As far as I can tell, Final is not really about reducing fraud, which, as you correctly state, is mostly a non-problem for customers. Instead, its value is in increasing my personal convenience, by reducing the annoyances the credit card companies force me to deal with as a direct result of their absurdly outdated technology.
I was traveling across the country last month and bought some expensive sunglasses and my card was declined. (My cab purchases and other legit looking travel items worked just fine). I immediately on my phone got a text asking if this purchase was legit, replied with '1' for yes, and my card was accepted after trying again few seconds later.
I've headed this off before by calling the 24x7 number on the back of the card before I leave the country or go on vacation across the USA and tell them to flag my account that I will be traveling. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
I have no idea of course. Maybe the bank is incompetent and getting robbed blind, but I think what I describe above is a distinct possibility.
The video never claims to solve the problem of being liable for fraudulent purchases.
The video claims it solves the problem of having only a single credit card number, and having to change the credit card number on file with all your web services (PayPal, Apple/Google, various subscriptions, etc.) when you get a new card, because it expires, or when one is cancelled because someone snatched your card info.
So yea, while I am happy for Final, as someone who has used disposable numbers for years, I am having one of those "I listened to their music way before they were cool" moment.
(a) A company called Orbiscom (acquired by MasterCard) had patents in this space , and they are the ones behind Bank of America's ShopSafe and a few other such services offered by various banks.
(b) Almost all of those services (except for ShopSafe) are now discontinued. Which indicates that either users don't care about something like this, or that banks don't like offering something like this for some reason. Maybe that explains why nobody knows about MaskMe  etc.
I would be curious how Final guys are overcoming those issues.
A few big changes are happening on the backend of payments that we also plan on leveraging. See this spec if you want to learn more about them: http://www.emvco.com/specifications.aspx?id=263
It's getting weird.
For the love of all that is holy and sacred, please eliminate the need to carry cards at all. Just let me pay with my phone. Put my drivers license, health insurance card, membership cards, gift cards, car keys, and payment methods into my phone. All of this already exists in some form or another, but Apple and Google have utterly failed to make it work in the real world outside of a few outliers like Starbucks.
It's 2014: there is no reason I should have to carry keys and a wallet when I have a modern cell phone. Eliminate paper receipts while you're at it; email them or aggregate in some other way digitally. Save 10 million trees.
Having a single point of failure for your identity, access to all of your accounts and finances, and the locks on your car doors and home is a bad idea. Making that somehow mandatory is even worse. Because you wouldn't be putting them on the phone, you would be putting them in the cloud, and the companies running the servers and building the apps that monetize your locking and unlocking and spending and self-identifying activities will not be putting security first because they never do.
I don't want my legal identity and physical security to depend entirely on cloud-driven Android apps, a contract and a working battery, thank you.
EDIT: Not to mention my ID and keys! I'm honestly not sure I could think of a worse idea.
New car keys are $500+.
The DMV. Oh God, the DMV.
A phone is not only trackable, but remote wipeable. Order a new one online and pick it up right then in a store or an Amazon same day box or something. All lost information restored in a few minutes via the internet.
"Oh crap, my phone fell into a puddle. Oh, well, guess I'll just buy a new one--oh, wait...
Well, I could use a drink--oh, wait...
Bah, let me just go home--oh, wait..."
If you had your way, anyone who lost their phone would be effectively homeless (at least temporarily). Do you now understand how shit-flingingly insane your idea sounds?
Does the world end when you lose your keys or wallet now? Then why would it things change if their form changes? Again, it is far, far more convenient for me to replace a phone than it is for me to replace the half dozen cards I carry in my wallet; not to mention the countless more I won't/can't fit in my wallet without looking totally crazy.
Oh, and the existing spare key option is wildly insecure. I'd rather have a Lockitron-type device that will also accept a password or fingerprint or something. That'll drive some security experts nuts, but honestly it's far more easy and likely someone will smash in my window than hack my computerized lock or lift my fingerprints.
> Then why would it things[sic] change if their form changes?
Because the forms are consolidated into one: if you had your way, losing one's phone could mean losing keys, ID, wallet, etc. It's replacing metal fucking keys--the only thing allowing you into your home (without breaking in)--with fragile electronics.
Oh, and what would happen if you had your way and someone lost their phone?
"Oh well, lemme make a call and see if I can get a replaceme--oh, wait..."
Replacing my ID, keys, and cards wouldn't be fun, but all of that would be a fucking pleasant walk in the park compared to replacing a phone containing all of those things.
Again, I find myself literally unable to comprehend how anyone could possibly think that this is anything but a horrible idea.
> losing one's phone could mean losing keys, ID, wallet, etc.
Yes. It also means replacing them all is also only one step: getting a new phone and restoring settings from the cloud. Some comparisons:
Losing my keys:
--4 with backups are a quick trip to a local Lowes or Home Depot, ~30 min, ~5 bucks
--2 without backups == I'm buying new locks. Same trip to Lowes, also installation time of an hour or so. ~$250 bucks. (also a good reason for me to go make the 30 min, couple buck trip to make copies now)
--1 car key. Trip to the car dealership. At least an hour, minimum $300.
Total: several hours, ~$600.
--1 trip to T-mobile, cost of new phone.
Total: an hour, cost of new phone.
Losing my wallet:
--3 credit cards, 1 debit card: ~15 min/card for calling and ordering replacements, > 2 days until a replacement arrives. Free.
--health insurance card. >30 min phone call. Probably more. Health Insurance has the worst customer service, a week before replacement. Probably free.
--Driver's license. Between 30 min and 6 hours at the DMV. ~$50.
--Clipper. Quick to order online, takes a few days to show up. $3.
--Safeway Club Card, Membership cards. Probably a trip and a few minutes per card. Probably free.
Total: > 1 week to return to normal. < $100.
--1 trip to T-mobile, cost of new phone.
Total: an hour, cost of new phone.
The problem with these comparisons is that they compare losing keys or a wallet with losing a phone. I would argue from personal experience that it's much easier to keep track of 1 object than 3, but that's not exactly solid. The negative arguments might make more sense: comparing losing a phone in both situations.
Now, it is true that consolidation increases the consequences of a lost phone. It requires backup methods of personal identity, payment, and home access, which as I said before is true of both wallet and keys anyway. It is, however, much easier and quicker to recover everything lost: 1 trip and one restoration done in minutes or hours instead of requiring many trips over the course of many days. Replacing a phone is really easy these days since everything is stored in the cloud.
> Oh, and what would happen if you had your way and someone lost their phone?
"Oh well, lemme make a call and see if I can get a replaceme--oh, wait..."
Really? This is just obstinance. Do you really try to replace your lost phone by making a call with your phone? No. You go to a store or order one online.
>Replacing my ID, keys, and cards wouldn't be fun, but all of that would be a fucking pleasant walk in the park compared to replacing a phone containing all of those things.
I've lost a wallet before. That was a nightmare. Hours and hours wasted calling CC companies, the DMV sucks. A long time to recover. Keys are similar.
A few years ago I had a phone stolen. Remote wiped it, ordered a new one online and picked it up in store, life as usual an hour later. Not a big deal like you're making it out to be, and honestly not very much different than losing a phone today since you need proper backups in either situation.
How will you get a new phone? You can't call anyone. You can't drive anywhere. You can't take a bus or subway or train. You can't take a cab. You'd either have to walk or hitchhike (or, if you were with someone you know, you could catch a ride).
But where would you go? You can't go home. You could try going to a Verizon/T-Mobile/etc store, but you can't pay for a new phone. Even if you had sufficient cash on you, you'd probably need to show ID (which you can't do).
"Ah ha! Cash!", I possibly hear you say. Well, you could try to get to a branch of your bank, but you don't have ID, so you're unlikely to be able to withdraw anything (and that's assuming that you arrive when the bank is open...since you don't have your phone you can't use an ATM, of course).
So, honest question: if you had your way, how would anyone be able to replace a suddenly broken or lost phone?
>you can't pay for a new phone
You can if there is a computer you can use there or on the way. Most companies allow you to pick up in store.
>You can't go home.
Again, locking yourself out is a problem whether you have a physical key or your phone is the key. Have a backup key, or better yet a lock that can accept a password or something.
Like I was saying, consolidating doesn't eliminate the need for backup options... it actually increases that need somewhat. But it does make remote wiping and recovery considerably easier and reduces the number of things I have to carry/remember.
I think I would be able to handle most situations, but maybe it wouldn't be for everyone. Not saying I'd want to be in the middle of Harlem at 3AM without my phone that is also my wallet and keys, but I think if that were the scenario I would take the proper steps to not get myself into that situation. Tap to pay NFC tag? Pebble vibrates when you move more than 50 feet from your phone? Dunno, but I bet, given more time and thought than a HN thread, there would be solutions almost any scenario that would be as good or better than today.
That said, seems like this kinda thing would be optional and not mandatory for quite some time...
Okay, so if you were to have your way, the only thing that I'm seeing as anything within a reasonable neighborhood of an answer to "how do I replace my phone?" is to always carry cash on you and always be with someone who has a working phone and either lets you borrow it or can drive (or otherwise cover your transportation costs) to the nearest phone store. That actually seems like an answer. A horrible, horrible answer, but an answer. We're making progress!
> You can if there is a computer you can use there or on the way. Most companies allow you to pick up in store.
Most companies also don't let you replace your cell phone--or make any significant changes to your account, for that matter--without showing ID. Without your phone, you have no ID. Hence, you're fucked.
> Tap to pay NFC tag?
"Damn, where did my tag go? Oh, well, I'll just have to buy anoth--oh, wait..."
> Pebble vibrates when you move more than 50 feet from your phone?
0_o I...what? What are you trying to say here?
This isn't true of physical keys/ID/money/currency, where it's completely possible to physically lose all of them, permanently.
It is really amazing to pay subway by scanning a QR code and pressing confirm.