For the vast majority of us, our personal finances are just that… personal. There’s really no rhyme or reason for sharing our personal spending with strangers, but that is exactly what the soon-to-be social network, Blippy, wants to do.
What is it?
Philip Kaplan (founder of AdBrite), is now working full time on Blippy which is slated to launch in 2010. Call it a Twitter for credit card transactions. Basically you link a credit card to your profile on the site. Then every time you make a purchase with that card, the details are broadcast to everyone Twitter-style.
Why is it supposedly useful?
One example Kaplan gives is buying a cup of Joe at Starbucks. When you pay for it with your credit card, everyone else will know you are there. “They can come and see me, or whatever” according to Kaplan.
First of all I don’t know about you, but I go there to get my coffee and get out… not to lounge around “the Starbucks scene.” Why do people even do that? It’s not like it’s a social environment. Everyone secludes themselves – entranced by their laptop or iPhone – never saying a word to each other. Anyway, the point is I’m not there longer than three minutes, so good luck catching me after my purchase.
On that note, purchases are often made at the end of your trip to a store or restaurant. You give the waiter the credit card after you’ve ate. You hand it to the cashier after you’ve picked out what you’re buying. Once you pay, you most likely aren’t going to stick around long.
What would I want to share private info?
First and foremost, this is my biggest issue. Why the heck would I want to share my spending with the world? There’s actually a security issue in doing so too. For example, I have had phone calls with American Express when they ask me about a prior purchases as part of verifying my identity. They may ask something like “You made a purchase on Tuesday for gas, which station was that at?” or “Where did you make your $233.40 purchase last week?” With Blippy, a scammer would easily be able to answer these security questions.
Will the whole concept even work in real time?
Even if you like the idea of advertising your personal spending, I want to know how it’s even possible for this to work in real-time, as the creator seems to imply. Credit card transactions are reported in batches, which sometimes take one to three days to show up on your account. So if I’m at Starbucks, how are my friends going to find out about it in real time? I don’t see how that’s possible for most cards.
What do YOU think?
How do you feel about this idea. Will it be the next big thing or just a dud?
2012 update: As expected, Blippy turned out to be a huge flop and shut down its service in May 2011.