1995-01-03 - Re: Anonymous payment scheme

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From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8b4db006e6dc1ba128075dc50bf629b870da8f3f523426f6082d5dfab2ef65d0
Message ID: <199501031745.JAA09281@jobe.shell.portal.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1995-01-03 17:44:37 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 3 Jan 95 09:44:37 PST

Raw message

From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 95 09:44:37 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Anonymous payment scheme
Message-ID: <199501031745.JAA09281@jobe.shell.portal.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


From: Brian Lane <blane@seanet.com>
>   I don't see why a debit card couldn't be anonymous, even to the point 
> of having no name, AND no picture on it. Yes, the bank has the money, but 
> their only obligation is to dish it out to the vendors/ATMs that you have 
> used your card with. Why should a bank care who you are once they have 
> your money in the account.

Again, it is unclear here whether you are proposing that you would be
anonymous to the bank or just have a blank card.  As I wrote, banks are
required to get SS#'s for depositers right now, and I wouldn't expect
that to change any time soon.  If anything, the trend appears to be
towards more tightening rather than less.  Duncan and/or Sandy have
suggested giving a fake SS# when you open your secured account; maybe
that would be legal but it sounds questionable to me.

>   As to avoiding fraud with the card, is it really that huge of a 
> problem? As long as noone copies the number(could go so far as no 
> embossed number. Just a gloss black card with a hologram of a Bald Eagle 
> on the front of it), and you don't lose the card how can someone use your 
> account?

I used my VISA yesterday, and after swiping it through the now-ubiquitous
card readers the vendor was required by the machine to manually enter the
last four digits on the card.  He complained that this was something new
and was happening very frequently now (maybe a change with 1995?).  I
have heard of fraud where people make fake VISA cards (or steal them) and
re-program the mag stripe to have a different number than what is on the
front.  Maybe this is a countermeasure for that.  It doesn't sound like a
blank card is the direction the industry is going.  Does anyone have more
info on this change?


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