Here’s an idea that credit card companies should implement: an RSS feed of your credit purchases, in real-time. Basically have an RSS feed of every authorization on your credit card(s), as they happen.
My wife always wants me to keep receipts, but I always lose them or send them through the wash. This way she could know what was going on as it was happening. I just bought a book at a downtown book shop and walked back to my office — she’d know about it by now, and could plan and budget for it accordingly.
And what if your credit card got stolen? Years ago, I was a credit fraud investigator for Citibank. There were people who had no idea their card was missing until they got a statement with $10,000 in charges over the three weeks leading up to the statement date. With an RSS feed, you’d find out something was going on the next time your aggregator checked.
These days, most credit card companies have “Early Warning” departments that flag suspicious credit card activity and call the cardholder to confirm everything is okay. With an RSS feed of all the purchases on my card, I essentially become my own Early Warning department. No one knows better than the customer what’s valid and what’s not, so why not eliminate the middleman?
I’m not going to build this, but I wish someone would.