Good morning, Mrs. Smith. Thank you for banking with us.

I'm reading this article the other day about something new they want to do with debit cards. They want to make them "swipe-free." You will just have to wave them in the general direction of some sensor to actually pay for something. It's another nail in the coffin of that pesky cash, which the government would love to replace with something more trackable.

Sorry, my paranoia was showing for a second there.

These "no-swipe" cards are aimed primarily at fast-food restaurants, movie theaters and parking lots. Supposedly, McDonald's, CVS and 7-Eleven are among those accepting PayPass.

That's not the part that scared me, although it's scary enough in its own right.

This is the part that scared me:

The no-swipe technology is leading some banks to experiment with credit and debit card chips placed in cell phones or on key chains. Discover Card is exploring a fingerprint way to pay, and other banks are testing rice-size chips that are placed under the skin of a person's arm.

Fingerprints, yeah. Key chains, OK. But under the skin of my arm?

Um, eff that.

What the hell are they thinking? Who will sign up for this? In fact, what kind of person even signs up for the testing?

This will never, ever become mainstream, and here's why:

I did a little inventory of the old wallet, and based upon the number of charge cards and debit cards I have in there in there, I would look like this:

Also, this is obviously not something the Tellers at your local branch will start doing after watching a 10 minute training video. This shit clearly means a doctor's appointment.

I really cannot even imagine the process involved. When you open an account, do they hand you the rice grain in an envelope with your PIN on it?

"Here you go -- get that injected and you'll be all set."

What about tech support on this bitch? If it doesn't work right, does the bank blame the doctor? I can just imagine the fingerpointing. Not to mention the inevitable comments on your poor lifestyle choices.

Pissed off customer: "My implant won't work the ATM anymore!"

Branch Manager: "Well Mrs. Smith, we've determined that the reason your chip isn't activating the ATM is because you put on some weight and your arm is, um, really fat now. Our corporate policy is to have you hit the treadmill 3 times a week and go on the Atkins diet."

It would definitely add a whole 'nuther dimension to the "pissed off customer" scenario. It's not like you could just walk in, close the account and storm out. Again, it's a freakin' doctor's appointment. I really can't picture Mrs. Smith, in a fit of anger, digging out her chip with that little pen on the chain.

"Hey, where'd you get that scar on your arm?"

"Oh that? Yeah, Citibank sucks. I closed that account."


  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    What would be really scary is if they mandated it to open an account.

  2. And all of it sold under the umbrella of protecting our precious identities - as if our digits are us. What a pack of lies they've sold us.


  3. Right! Because there's nothing like having the chips dug out of your arm with a switchblade when you're getting mugged.

  4. Anonymous3:11 PM

    "having the chips dug out of your arm with a switchblade " was the FIRST thing that I thought when I'd read your post, and picked my chin off my kneecap. F****itty-f****!! And NOOOOOO!

  5. I say we try it on Martha Stewart first since she seems to be able to wear her mandated ankle bracelet when she wants and when she doesn't. If she can find a way past all the hubub then we should all try...

    Great post!

  6. I also wondered how easy it would be to actually buy something by mistake. Get a little too close to the register at Home Depot and BAM! You just paid for someone's new addition.

  7. I still have dreams about Jessica Alba's barcode tattoo.

  8. Anonymous2:18 AM

    I never thought of you reason why it couldn't work. Interesting. I've always figured it to be the inevitable future.

  9. On the upside, and after viewing the sketch of your arm (post insertion), if they somehow combine the chip implantation with breast or package enhancement, it could be a whole lot of fun being a cashier at Home Depot or Best Buy in the future.

  10. Digging it out with a switchblade is what the heart-o-gold criminals do. I'd be afraid they'd just lop my arm off with a machette as a time saver.

  11. you already look like that drawing but it's for a different reason.

  12. From constantly batting your hand away from my crotch?

  13. They act like implants are so un-invasive but your body can reject them and sometimes your body will start putting scar tissue around them like when an oyster makes a pearl- only not as marketable.

  14. Oh my gosh! This is SO what I would write about this, if I was witty enough to put it together that way. Gee, I guess I'm saying, I'm not worthy . . .

    Makes me think of that banking commercial where everyone gets bar codes stapled to their foreheads, and they have to bend over and press it to a scanner and it won't work and they keep trying over and over . . .

  15. Anonymous10:58 AM

    The fingerprint thing freaks me out. Ok so I don't go around commiting crimes and don't plan to start, but there is this little crazy part of me that STILL doesn't want my fingerprints in the "the database."

    Just. In. Case.

    I don't plan on robbing a bank or killing anybody, but just in case I accidently do something like that I want the option of them not knowing who I am.

    Is this totally crazy or just way over-practical? Oh damn.