Credit card security in the hands of the consumer

I can't help but look at this solution and have two things...

  1. First, better in the hands of the user who knows when they are using their own card than in the hands of companies who are relying on imperfect algorithms.
  2. What an absolute pain in the ass.

Ondot Systems, a stealthy company that has raised $18 million in funding, has developed a white-label solution called CardControl that gives consumers control over when, where and how their payment cards are used.

Anyone who has traveled internationally--possibly even domestically--and has had their credit card disabled due to "potentially fraudulent activity", especially when the card company lists only a 1-800 number on the back of the card--which is useless outside the US--knows how bad it sucks because now you're stuck with no way to contact your bank and no money. Not that I've ever had that happen to me, of course.

I know that regular card security rules still apply in these situations, but I do appreciate someone trying to solve the problem of not having control in the user's hands. I don't think this is a great solution because it puts a relatively large amount of friction in the payment process. Still, good ideas can be reformed while not thinking is hopeless. Lets hope this leads somewhere good.