Ruario's Journal

The following is a 'stream of consciousness' (micro *log style).


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12:42 +0100

Re: JBanana's Payment card psephology

Payment card psephology

Curious stuff. But it made me think about elections. In many countries, no type of card would have overall control. Analysts would predict a coalition of "number on the front" cards would emerge, agreeing to ignore their differences on embossing. Meanwhile in the UK, the first-past-the-post voting system would mean a landslide win for embossed cards, with voters left to ponder whether tactical voting could be the only way to bring about more progressive card numbering.

Taking this further I can't help but think that the UK (first-past-the-post) example is partcularly fitting because the older, established cards would then be stopping the modern cards from changing things, potentially for the better. Indeed, this is pretty much how it works in UK with people. The old people keep things as they are even though the younger people want to move society forward, perhaps not fully agreeing on how far we should go. Or maybe I am overthinking this now? πŸ˜†


14:44 +0100

Here is a short video showing how these credit/debit microcards work

Tietoevry wearables demo video

13:43 +0100

So I just discovered that my credit card provider offers a microcard version of their credit cards as an additional (but no cost) extra. They provide you with a second card in small form, which is basically the size of a phone SIM card. It is effectively just the chip (NFC/Touch part) found in a normal credit card. You can put this card in a band (also supplied) and wear it on your wrist, saving you the need to always have your wallet with you. Alternatively, it is possible to buy a special watch strap (basically a normal strap with a little pocket to house the card) and use this with your current watch. A number of suppliers provide these, so you can pick something that works with your watch.

In the end you therefore have a normal (not "smart") watch and can make touch (tap) payments, like you would if you had an Android Wear or Apple Watch but with the upside of not being tied to the Google or Apple ecosystems, nor the worry about battery life.

I was aware or various payment wearables before, both payment rings and alternative watch payment systems like Swatchpay but I did not realise that such solutions were already offered by my current provider, in Norway.

09:57 +0100

I spent the weekend at the cabin. There was so much snow on the roof, so I spent a fair amount of time clearing it as we started to worry about the weight of it. I couldn't clear everything though, there just was not enough time but I am hoping that it helped nonetheless. Most likely we will take another trip out there soon and I can try and finish the job.

P.S. I have never actually cleared snow from the roof before and I have to say it was a bit scary. Whilst I have lived in Norway for quite a few years now I'm still not quite sure how snow will move under various conditions and hence I was in constant fear of falling off the roof, even though my caution meant I was probably quite safe. In addition there was a lot of snow on the ground already and even bigger piles as I cleared more from the roof. So if I did fall, I probably would have been ok anyway! πŸ˜‰


13:59 +0100

I put up a couple of Mastodon polls on credit/debit cards related to my earlier posts

What kind of card design do you have?

Who here has memorised one or more of their debit/credit card numbers?

I also got a reply to my latest post by @JBanana

I have credit card nostalgia. WTF?

10:08 +0100

I moved (well… copied) my thoughts on Wise's new Eco card to its own post, since it was pretty long!

Wise debit card and corporate green washing

While doing that I started to think more about card designs and trends and also wrote a following up of sorts

The progression to numberless credit/debit cards


13:02 +0100

Wise debit card and more corporate green washing

Recently Wise (an international payment company) started to offer a new debit card to its customers. It is called Wise Eco and is supposed to have green credentials, with the following advantages listed:

Wise page announcing the card

This all sounds like bullshit green washing to me. Some quick thoughts off the top of my head

I am not totally against this product. Physical cards are still needed by many consumers and perhaps some of these changes help but seriously Wise just make this your one physical card offering, and give up on your non-"green" (but actually green in colour) card.

As a side note, I do sort of like the no PAN printed on the card idea. Not for the green aspect but from an improved security perspective. Why are we still printing credit card numbers on all our cards? If you need the numbers you can get them from your bank's website or app, store them in your browser and/or your password manager, or even write them down on a note you keep in a safe place at home. Or if you use Google or Apple Pay, your mobile device has the number as well.

Having the number written on the card stems from a time where it was used as a fallback in cases where the card was non working or damaged but this is exceptionally uncommon (at least in my part of the world) these days, and in any case the consumer could likely retrieve these details from their phone using some of the methods I outlined above. Surely it would be better not to list the number on the card at all and thus make the visual skimming of these numbers impossible.

In fact as a customer of Wise I am sort of tempted to get one of these cards. Though if I do it will be for that last aspect and certainly not because I deluded into thinking that getting yet another card is greener!


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