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Credit Cards And Lifestyle--Now You Can Reveal All About Yours

by IndexCreditCards IndexCreditCards

Share Your Credit Card Use with the World

Want your Mom to know how much you squandered in a "gentlemen's" club last night? Want your husband to know you just booked a motel room? Want your wife to know you're charging $500 in Victoria's Secret? Want your friends to know what your booze bill is?

Well, not all of those scenarios are a reality quite yet, but you could share with your family, your friends, and the world many details of your credit card use if you sign up for a new service called Blippy.

Credit Cards & Lifestyle--an Intimate Relationship

American Express used to run a TV commercial that included a line saying that its card "...says more about you than cash ever could." Well, pretty soon all your cards could be speaking volumes about the sort of person you are.

Right now, Blippy publishes transactions only to other Blippy users, and always in the format "X spent Y dollars at Z." But it plans soon to tie in with Facebook and Twitter so that credit card use is "passively shared" (as the company puts it) with friends and followers.

Your Very Own Credit Card News Feed

Of course, publishing your own credit card news can be harmless. Philip Kaplan, Blippy's founder, recently gave an interview to the New York Times, and explained how he saw the new service being used.

He told the reporter that he expected most consumers to link only one of their credit cards to Blippy so that they didn't have to share all their transactions. And he explained that the service allows users to select a level of privacy that they find appropriate, much as people do already with their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He continued:

If I use my public card at a Starbucks, for instance, all my friends know that I'm at the Starbucks, and they can come and see me, or whatever...I guess you need to have the right temperament if you to want to blog and tweet and Facebook and all that. It's just another way of saying, "Here's what I'm doing," or "Here's where I am," or "Here's a band that I'm really into"--obviously, because I just bought five of their albums.

Need for Caution

This all sounds completely innocuous. However, some users of social networking sites have already discovered that being too candid about their private lives too publicly has consequences. Employers and colleges sometimes check Facebook and similar sites to see if the seemingly angelic candidate who's applying for a job or admission really is as squeaky clean as he or she claims. Collection agencies use the same sites to help them trace people who've skipped on their debts.

And, earlier this year, the Secret Service tracked down Maxi Sopo, a 26-year-old fugitive who'd fled to Mexico, after he updated his Facebook page to tell the world how happy he was with his new life.

Putting the Conspicuous in Conspicuous Consumption

None of this has stopped people queuing up to join Blippy. Yesterday, it emerged that, on the day of the public launch of the service, 25,000 transactions worth more than a million dollars had been "blipped." And Philip Kaplan told the Washington Post:

We are blown away! Yesterday was the first day that we invited people who we didn't personally know into the site. We never imagined that we would hit $1 million in purchases in the first few months, much less the first day.

Published 12/24/09 (Modified 04/23/12)


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