The Final Credit Card or the Last Word In Trolls?
Credit card security is a “trending topic” these days. Large thefts of customers’ card data are making headlines with increasing frequency. Cardholders are anxious, and tired of reacting to each security breach. Is the coming Final Card the answer?
Is The Final Credit Card for Real?
Where there is pain, there is always opportunity for trolls to amuse themselves. Behold the “Final” Credit Card, the last credit card you will ever need – or see, in my estimation. The Final card is not available now, but you can provide an email address to be notified when it comes to market. Before I go any further let me get this out of the way:
Recently I published an article Ten Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft. Consider this Number 11: DO NOT GIVE THESE GUYS YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!
The story about the origin of the Final card is the first clue that someone is pulling your leg. A guy goes on vacation in a remote corner of Europe. An unnamed U.S. retailer suffers a massive theft of customers’ credit card data. So an unnamed credit card company deactivates the guy’s card with no warning whatsoever, leaving him fundless in the wilderness. Bears would have gnawed his bones if the group he was traveling with hadn’t lent him a few Euros.
But that doesn't happen. Visa doesn’t abruptly cancel millions of cards just because a store was hit by hackers. I still have the same card that I've used at Target, Home Depot, and other retailers where massive breaches have occurred. Card-issuing banks that want to keep customers don’t do it, either.
The second clue about the legitimacy of the Final card is the curious absence of surnames from the company’s C-level executives. “CTO Matt and CEO Aaron,” indeed! There is a Matt Reed who has been spamming Pinterest with Finalcard.com ads. Take a look at his profile picture and tell me if you would give him your real email address, let alone the Social Security Number required by any credit application.
Reed bills himself as a “creative technologist,” just the sort of guy who would come up with a troll like the “Final card.” Aaron may be his cat, for all we know; he looks like the kind of guy who would have a cat and name it “Aaron.”
Get Your Red Hot Promotional Offers Here!
The sales pitch for the Final card touches many of the pain points that cardholders feel in this era of data breaches. When they learn that hackers may have your card data, many cardholders rush to cancel cards, wait a week or more for new ones, and then have to update their card details with Amazon, Paypal, BestBuy.com, and untold other merchants who store card details.
The Final card expresses a wish-list of consumer-oriented features that would eliminate much of the anxiety about using plastic and putting one’s card details out in so many different places.
It purportedly will generate a unique card number for each merchant with whom you do business. If that merchant suffers a data breach, its card number is changed automatically (after the merchant makes the breach known, presumably). There is no need for the cardholder to trouble himself about it.
If you’ve ever had difficulty ending a recurring charge to a credit card, the Final card will eliminate that suffering too. Just cancel that merchant’s card number, leaving all other relationships with merchants undisturbed.
Failure to Launch: The Trailer
Final's FAQ says the service is slated to launch in Beta the first quarter of 2015, but that "depends on many variables." One of those variables is whether people will trust the security of their credit card to a guy in a pirate hat and dark glasses. More to the point, would you use a credit card that's still in Beta test mode?
Let me repeat: In my opinion, the Final card is at best a gag, a joke, a troll. “CTO Matt and CEO Aaron” may not exploit the email addresses they collect. Perhaps they just want to count the number of fish who bite on their preposterous bait. If they are for real, I'll eat crow, but I won't feel bad about warning against what certainly looks like a flimsy cover for a troll or a clever prelude to a phishing expedition.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Oct 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Final Credit Card or the Last Word In Trolls? (Posted: 20 Oct 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved