Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Nice swing,
no follow-through.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Shrinking credit card

Makes "can't handle finances" literal.
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

Those that lack responsibility and want to build their credit are everywhere.

Three proposals:

1)Entire back of card is magnetic, below a protective coating so one doesn't scratch it and can still be read and owner can still sign back. Every credit card reader, upon recognizing "Diminish" feature shaves off a thin strip from left to right, inversely proportional to amount of debt incurred with current and total purchases. When the card requires tweezers to handle, you'll know you're near the end. Pay the bill and get a new card if you want. (Useful for college students.)

2)At the risk of magic wand status, use a smart gel that actually shrinks based on above formula.

3)Magnetic strip is purposefully extra delicate so that if one uses it too much it will wear away or lose magnetism with use. Perhaps a tiny chip can restore magnetism over time.

JeremiahBritt, Dec 09 2004


       Perhaps each time the card is used, a little indicator built into the magnetic stripe would decrease, kind of like a progress bar that starts at 100% and works its way backwards. Seems like it might be easier.
fuscob, Dec 10 2004

       That would, in fact, probably be easier [fuscob], but my point would be to make it actually, physically harder and more frustrating the more in debt you were, as a kind of negative reinforcement, before having reached your limit and owing more than your annual salary.
JeremiahBritt, Dec 10 2004

       We could revert to the 17th century way of doing things and make all "credit cards" out of actual 24 karat gold. In those days transactions were often made as "two-bits" or "four-bits" where a "bit" equalled an eighth of a gold dollar, the amount one could easily bite from a soft cold coin.   

       In this instance, we would be basing all transactions on the gold shavings produced by passing one's "Gold Card" through a "reader", much as one passes a knife through a sharpener. Each pass would remove a quantifiable amount of metal shavings which would have a real worth dependent upon the spot price of gold.   

       It might take only four or five passes to purchase a loaf of bread, and a dozen to buy a whole fresh fish, dependent upon how finely the readers shaved the card and the daily spot price of the ore.   

       The good news, though, is that you might never need to purchase a sharp pocket knife again. And you would always have an available blade to defend yourself while being robbed.
jurist, Dec 10 2004

       I like the concept but wouldn't it mean that you'd have to get a new card every time you paid off your bill?
DrBob, Dec 10 2004

       I was envisioning this as being the kind of thing you'd give to a problem spender, some one new to the process or someone trying to re-establish credit. A kind of "starter card" to teach how quickly the numbers add up if you are unable to check your account balance regularly or keep a running tally in your head.
JeremiahBritt, Dec 10 2004

       So as you use it, it slowly disappears until you are left with an empty wallet, at which point you must replenish it. In what important aspect does this differ from a wallet full of money?
td, Dec 10 2004


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle