Wallet Garden - simple protection from ID theft
November 24, 2009 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Wallet Garden - simple protection from ID theft
A free (and kind of pretty) web app, with a really simple goal: help you out if you've lost your wallet. Before you lose your wallet (that's the key part!) you go to Wallet Garden and enter in the customer service phone numbers for the different credit cards in your wallet (or purse). Then, if you lose your wallet while traveling, you have an easy go-to place to find all the numbers you need to call. The holidays are coming up, and you'll probably be traveling. I hope you're able to keep your wallet in your pocket. But for all you perdedors, this will hopefully help you out if you find yourself in a bind.

A few easter eggs:
1. Once you create an account, we give you a printable page that A) lists out all of your cards (you have to enter them first, duh.) in a printer-friendly format, and B) gives you a step-by-step walkthrough of what to do to cancel your cards and get everything sorted out if you actually lose your wallet.
2. At the end of every day where you actually add new cards to your account, the program will automatically e-mail you a backup of your card list. That way, if you can get to your e-mail (but not the Internet, for some reason), or if you can't remember our website address, but you know the phone numbers are somewhere in your e-mail's archives, or if (land-sakes'!) our site is down right when you need it, you've still got all of your data in a handy backup in your own e-mail system.

A note about security: The only data that we're actually storing are the customer service phone numbers for your card providers. All authentication is handled by your bank. It'd be like this: if you saw me walk out of a Wachovia, you couldn't then call up Wachovia and pull a "Hello. My name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me?" ... they'll ask you for your SSN and other data that, presumably, only the account holder has. ("Ok, Mr. Burns. What's your first name?")

I hope you love it! I'd love your thoughts!
posted by Alt F4 (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

"I... don't... know."

This is really nice.
posted by chrismear at 6:07 AM on November 25, 2009

What happens if you lose your wallet AND your phone?

Seriously though, this is a neat idea. Will take a closer look when I get home from work.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:40 PM on November 26, 2009

Neat idea. Just tried it out. Some comments:

* separate category for bank cards and credit cards (all my cards appear under the "credit cards" heading)

* not sure you need the "card name" and "company name" distinction. For bank cards, I just enter the same thing in 2x. (Is one field optional? Oh, company is optional.)

* not entering a name when adding a card does not add the card. (and no error message)

* removing the name while editing the card shows an error message with a different/weird form.

* once you get seeded with data, it would be awesome if you had some sort of auto-complete to make it easier to enter numbers. (The phone numbers are public, so i don't see any privacy problems.)

* ability to add notes: some cards (driver's license, health card, etc.) don't have a phone number to call, but they also would need to be replaced.
posted by kamelhoecker at 10:29 AM on November 27, 2009

Thanks for the notes, all, especially kamelhoecker. I'll look at adding in the notes and refining those flaky bits. Also, the auto-complete would be good, definitely. Thanks!
posted by Alt F4 at 12:47 PM on November 27, 2009

I tried entering in a card without anything in the phone number field and it didn't store, at least the one time I tried it.
posted by grouse at 12:41 PM on November 28, 2009

To second Kamelhoecker , a notes field would be useful - maybe to add the URL of the banks Lost Card page?
posted by jontyjago at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2009

I think I've fixed both of the major requests I've been hearing so far. To wit:
  1. You no longer need to include a name or a phone number for any of the cards. Should you want it, you can have a completely blank card.
  2. You can now enter in notes for each card. Some useful scenarios:
    • you're traveling internationally, and you want to include the "international customer service number" for your card
    • you have auto-bill payments on certain cards, and you want to note who/when/how much those payments are, so you can be sure to cancel them if you lose your card
    • if you do lose your card and you call the bank / credit card company to report it, you can take notes (for each card) regarding the name of the customer service rep, what they said regarding the replacement, and so on
    • if you prefer using the internet to talking to people (see jontyjago, me, and just about everyone else on MeFi amirite), you can enter in URLs for the card providers

I would ask that you not use that "notes" field to record your card's account number, 3-digit-code-on-the-back, etc., as it is not a secure site, and it is not intended to be a place where you'd store sensitive data.

I probably won't be doing a ton of more development on Wallet Garden, as it's distracting me from my other projects (oh, the irony!), but I really would love to hear any more thoughts you all care to share, and I'm open to adding in a few more easter eggs and subtle enhancements (like that auto-complete bit). And, of course, ping me with any more problems / bug reports.

Thanks, internet friends! You're the best!
posted by Alt F4 at 5:26 PM on November 30, 2009

Love it. Thanks :)
posted by curtj at 5:35 PM on November 30, 2009

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