19 November 2017
visit www.atos.net

DrnkPay app blocks credit cards if you've had too much to drink

17 May 2017  |  10487 views  |  8 drnkpay

A new mobile app is promising to help users avoid drunken late night impulse spending by linking credit and debit cards to a breathalyser and, if too much has been imbibed, barring certain purchases.

The brainchild of financial consultancy iBe TSE, the DrnkPay app asks users to link their cards and select the number of drinks they wish to have in advance of an evening out. Then, the drinker can choose the types of payments which are to be blocked - pubs, food, online shopping - for a 12 hour period.

After that, every time they want to make a payment they have to use the breathalyser, which is connected to the app via bluetooth. If the user is under the predefined limit, the card is activated and the payment can be made. If they are over, the card is blocked.



Drinkers who do not want to carry around a breathalyser can strap a Quantac Tally wearable biosensor to their wrists to constantly analyse the alcohol content in their bloodstream. Meanwhile, a 'help me out’ feature lets users book an emergency Uber to get home safely.

Insisting that its service is more than just a gimmick, iBe TSE cites a poll of 1000 UK alcohol drinkers aged 18-34 which found that half have regretted a purchase made when drunk. Among the addled impulse buys admitted to are flying lessons, a rowing club lifetime membership for someone who doesn’t row, £250 vintage Star Wars toys, 30 pairs of flip flops, a caravan and a live chicken.

The firm says it plans to officially launch the app in around 12 months, adding that it is in "discussions" with a number of banks and card providers about rolling out the technology to their customers.

Francesco Scarnera, CEO, iBe TSE, says: "This is a problem many of us have encountered, so we decided to create a simple solution which uses the latest technology. Once you’ve hit your self-imposed limit, the app will lock your card and prevent you making further payments. It’s up to you whether to block all payments, or just certain ‘weak points’, such as takeaways, clubs, or that flight that seems like such a great idea at 4am."

Comments: (8)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 17 May, 2017, 09:07

If I am that drunk, I'd use my plastic card - easier to handle than a smartphone, I guess, when "under influence". 

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up! (Log in to thumb up)
Simon Pearce
Simon Pearce - Vipera Plc - London | 17 May, 2017, 09:32

No problem, because the plastic card would be blocked using the app.  (we (Vipera) built the app for iBe, so the idea is that the App blocks selected payments or channels on the plastic card.

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 17 May, 2017, 09:37

Hm, a third party app blocking an issuer's card?.. Would love to learn more! (See http://bit.ly/2qRMS1U)

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Simon Pearce
Simon Pearce - Vipera Plc - London | 17 May, 2017, 09:47

Not quite, this needs to be done in conjunction with the issuer. If the issuer participated then it is possible to allow the user a range of options including block and unblock the card ( useful when you lose it down the back of the sofa), block by channel, i.e. block online transactions or ATM withdrawals etc. plus block by country, or easily inform the bank you are traveling and so they dont block it. Also set budgets, group spending by categories etc etc.

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 17 May, 2017, 10:42

Not sure it would work for small offline in person purchases though (such as a takeaway or club entry that you cite in the article!) - even if the issuer has blocked the card - the transaction would still go through.

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 17 May, 2017, 12:01

Don't most people use cash for social drinking?  What next - Credit Card issuers warning of irresponsible and excessive spending patterns?

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Simon Pearce
Simon Pearce - Vipera Plc - London | 17 May, 2017, 13:28

It is correct that small offline purchases will not work because the payment needs to be authorised online. However there is a move towards online authorisation for all transactions, but the larger point is that there a number of tools and functions available from the card schemes and card issuers that when combined with a smartphone can be used in interesting and innovative ways to put the decision making power firmly in the hands of the end user. 

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 17 May, 2017, 17:31

I hope this is one of those breakthrough ideas that sounds harebrained at first. On a side note, whatever happened to MasterCard inControl, which was supposed to do something like this but for many more merchant categories? Seven years ago, I began my blogging on Finextra with the following post on credit cards that stop you from spending:

Credit Cards Come A Full Circle

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit https://www.niceactimize.comvisit www.aciworldwide.comvisit www.solutions.lexisnexis.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Ripple boss predicts central bank adoption of blockchainRipple boss predicts central bank adoption...
14984 views comments | 24 tweets | 24 linkedin
Singapore central bank open sources blockchain prototypesSingapore central bank open sources blockc...
12090 views comments | 15 tweets | 29 linkedin
Digital receipt startup Flux scores game-changing deal with BarclaysDigital receipt startup Flux scores game-c...
10068 views comments | 20 tweets | 36 linkedin
AmEx partners Ripple and Santander for blockchain-enabled cross-border paymentsAmEx partners Ripple and Santander for blo...
9945 views comments | 13 tweets | 39 linkedin
UK cryptocurrency exchange startup launches debit card for spending bitcoinUK cryptocurrency exchange startup launche...
8283 views comments | 26 tweets | 37 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job