A large crater to dump my thoughts

Credit cards

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In this part of the world, it is impossible to get by without credit cards. They’re probably one of the most flawed concepts ever invented for transferring money. Little plastic cards with a large integer on it. An integer that is supposed to be secret and personal but which, despite that, you are obliged to show to people you’ve never met on a daily basis. It doesn’t take a security expert to see the flaw in this magnificent scheme.

So – rather than actually trying to fix the whole thing from the ground up – banks have patched up the system as best they can. Useless (and optional) security measures have been added on top of the existing broken system. And transactions are being monitored for suspicious activity.

Trying to rent a car in Seattle this afternoon my bank apparently flagged my behaviour as “suspicious” and now declines all transactions. That is despite the fact that I have already used my credit card elsewhere in the U.S. this week without problems. What is so strange about me trying to rent a car? I have no fucking clue. And of course my bank is only available during CET office hours so I can’t yell at them to get my card unblocked.

To make matters worse, none of the rental agencies accept Meastro debit cards. FFS.

Update: Looks like buying coffee in Phoenix didn’t fit into my regular spending patterns. It’s not like I haven’t ever done that before. Of course the friendly bank employee I spoke to can not tell me why their algorithms flagged this particular transaction (“computer says no“).


Written by aristillus

January 23, 2011 at 05:28

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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