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Regarding anonymous debit cards..

>   Alot of the banks in the US are now offering these cards for use with 
> checking accounts.

   Yes.  There are also the ``secured'' credit cards where one deposits X 
dollars into the issuing bank and is allowed 1.5 * X in credit.  Many of 
these will promote to ``real'' credit cards after a year or some specific 
amount of charging that's been paid back on time (usually about $1000).  
These are a godsend for those who've gone bankrupt; as such I wouldn't be 
terribly surprised if the issuers didn't even bother to do a credit check 
until the card promotes, if at all.  If this is the case, what's to stop 
someone from filling out the application under a pseudonymous identity 
with a mail drop as the contact address?    

>   I think they should. If they would is another matter. It would be 
> similar to having a 'secret' Swiss bank account that can be accessed from 
> anywhere in the world, converted to cash at cash machines, transferred to 
> others, etc.

   It's a great idea - at last year's Siggraph convention I needed to 
stay in contact with an associate 24 hours a day if need be.  I 
discovered that in the Kinko's in the Orange County Convention Center 
there's a cellular phone rental machine, but it took credit cards and the 
people at the desk wouldn't let me rent one without one - even though 
I offered to leave my ID and a sizable deposit.  

   I'm technically not old enough to get a credit card, and regardless of 
that fact when I spoke to someone at Barnett Bank about getting one and 
listed my occupation as 'Consultant' she laughed in my face.

   Solution: I got a secured card from a bank in Vermont.  They have $500 
of my money in an account, and I have a card with a $500 limit in my 
father's name.  

>   If there was an Anonymous Visa debit card I'd defiantly go for it. It 
> would certainly keep those marketing types from tracking my spending 
> patterns.

   Without a doubt.  I wonder, again, if the issuing bank even _cares_ 
who you are if you get one of these secured cards.  There was discussion 
here about debit/secured cards some time ago - anyone remember the upshot 
of the discussion?

( --------[ Jonathan D. Cooper ]--------[ [email protected] ]-------- )
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