Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Steal My Idea 2: Make "Debit/Credit" selection button obsolete, get rid of customer loyalty cards

I wish I could change the world for the better and "more efficient," all at once. If you implement my idea, I'll give you a cookie.

There's no technical reason that magnetic cards cannot identify themselves as "debit," "credit," or "gift" cards. Add card-type identifiers to magnetic stripe data. This would eliminate a confusion/nuisance step in payment at lines in all supermarkets across America, and probably save everyone a small amount of money (and annoyance).

Also, if you're a bank, give consumers an option to include a "telephone number" field inside of magstripe data that can be used (legally) to identify customers for coupon programs (e.g. Safeway Club, Von's Club, etc.). Allow customers to opt-out if they don't want this "vendor field" identifying them. Why not simplify everything into one easy step at the supermarket?


jjwiseman said...

Jeff, my bank card can act as either debit card or credit card, and i can choose which I want (if the seller takes both). I recommend saving an "OTHER/ASK HOLDER" value in the type field if the card holder wants to be able to choose per-transaction.

baitisj said...

Interesting card, John... I had no idea that there were cards that could function as both debit and credit. What bank do you use?