In Hawai’i I left my credit card behind where we ate lunch on the way to the airport. Called ’em from the departure lounge and told ’em to cut it up and throw it out. Called Visa and told ’em to send me a new one. Really pretty easy. Then there’s switching over all the pre-authorized payments.

I have seven; how many do you have? Here is a list, in decreasing order of degree of difficulty, of the difficulty of upgrading your credit card details.

Stupid Website — Extreme Pain · Example: My cable/Internet provider. Various kinds of obstacles and roadblocks, just generally horribly bad UX.

Bad Call Center — Considerable Pain · This is when you get put on hold for a long time and then talk over a staticky echoey line to a heavily-accented individual who can’t understand the numbers you say over the phone. Example: Another telephone company.

OK Websites — Moderate Pain · I’m just not sure anyone’s figured out how to set up a website to make a non-trivial transaction like this easy, when you hardly ever visit it and thus aren’t going to know its rhythms or share its assumptions. It always seems harder than it should be.

Example: One telephone company. Also, Google, which was perfectly fine, once I’d given up on poking around my account and found the right place by typing “google wallet” into Google.

Intelligent Human — Slight boredom · These are provided, generally, only by organizations to whom you pay significant amounts of money. In my case, my government health insurance. Read ’em off an account number and they get you set right up.

Mobile Phone Responder — Minimum Pain · This one caught me by surprise. For still another phone company (yes, I deal with three, it’s a long story) I couldn’t find my account on their Web site, so I dialed 611 on that phone, and in about 3 clicks they’d pulled up the account linked to the phone, proactively noticed that my credit card had gone bad, and asked me if I wanted to type in the new number.

There’s a lesson in that.

Oh, and All Those Web Sites · It would have been a case of severe pain everywhere if I didn’t use a password manager with a browser plug-in so I could look up the account details for each of them and get the login stuff out of the way.

Yeah, I think about Identity all the time these days.


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From: Troy McConaghy (Apr 06 2013, at 21:07)

Imagine a world where your credit card info is stored on a server of your choice, that you control, and you can give others permission to look up the info. when they need to charge you (via OAuth 2 or whatever)...

You could be notified who looked it up, and when. And of course, you could revoke anyone's access at any time.

Credit card details changed? Update them in exactly one place.

Not happy with your current server or server provider? Move to a different one with ease. Nobody will notice any difference.


From: Aaron (Apr 06 2013, at 22:36)

Here's something you might find useful. I have a separate card that I only use for recurring services and I never carry it with me. Last chance of fraud/losing a card and all my recurring charges are on one card so it's easy to figure out what I need to change.


From: Sophie (Apr 07 2013, at 01:14)

Interestingly, this is almost completely irrelevant to my way of banking (which I think is pretty mainstream around here).

Regular debits (at least 6 in my case: internet, phone, utilities, insurances) are made directly on bank accounts, not through card numbers…

When a new card is issued, this doesn’t change anything to pre-authorized payments, except for subscriptions made on foreign websites (I had a “minimum pain” one which simply sent a warning that your card had expired and you needed to change the number).


From: Doug Ransom (Apr 10 2013, at 19:10)

I hope you make some good progress with identity. There are hundreds of passpwords in my password manager (1Password), some sites like BMO deliberately thwart password managers, the whole thing is a mess.

I thought microsoft had a good solution with MS Passport and MS Wallet a decade ago but the market didn't like agree.


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