General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Can I make my own Credit Card Business?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10280points) February 22nd, 2010

So I think personalizing credit cards is cool. I think it would be nice to have a kiosk in the mall where you could walk up and plug your credit card in and maybe a picture, and the machine would eat your old card and spit out a programmed, customized new card.

Can this be done, or are there significant legal hurdles restricting unauthorized credit card reproduction?

What’s the big deal as long as the old card is accounted for and destroyed?

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21 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I would be concerned that your machine kept a copy of the info.
How about if you had a machine that just put a skin on the original card?

Ltryptophan's avatar

wow, super cool idea @worriedguy! Let’s open a biz

njnyjobs's avatar

Are you aware that a credit card remains as a property of the financial institution or bank that issued it? So, without permission from the owner, you should not make any change to a property that is not yours.

Ltryptophan's avatar

yes. also true @njnyjobs…. but they could have such a machine!

timothykinney's avatar

I think this is an interesting idea. While it’s true that you could run into trouble destroying the original card, I don’t see why you couldn’t make a new card with the same information on it. Then it would, in fact, be your property and you could keep your old card in the safe at home as a backup.

Sounds great to me.

njnyjobs's avatar

@timothykinney what you had described is counterfeiting… also illegal in most societies.

There are already card issuers that let you design your own credit card by simply uploading your own at their designated website. CapitalOne sticks out clearly with their cavemen commercials.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I’m reading the back of my card, nothing about not reproducing it, furthermore, the rights to access the funds that this card represents belong solely to me. The card that was issued seems to be the property of the lender, but I don’t know if they can lay claim to the account number, etc.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Ltryptophan Information printed on your card does not represent the whole Terms & Conditions of your use of your Credit Card. Also, the funds that you say represents the card is NOT yours, it is the bank’s prerogative to extend to you the use of their money. The use of a credit card is not a right, it is a privilege that one has to apply for, and granting of credit to you is the sole decision of the bank. You don’t own anything related to the credit card but the debt that you incur when you use the card. Even the things that you buy are technically the property of the bank until such time that you have repaid the money you borrowed with the use of the credit card.

The bank extends you credit and they can take it away as well, without reason or rhyme.

Ltryptophan's avatar

How about a debit card! what I was holding

njnyjobs's avatar

The card is still the property of the bank. The plastic is the medium by which your funds can be transferred from your bank account to the payee’s account. creating a copy of the card is still considered counterfeiting…

Ltryptophan's avatar

maybe fraud, but counterfeiting?! I don’t think that’s the right language.

SeventhSense's avatar

Any attempt at reproducing adding to or enhancing any card is likely to attract some serious FBI level attention. I would squash this plan as not feasible.

Ltryptophan's avatar

We can change the rules governing credit cards, we just did btw. The question is should we to suit our personal taste, or is there some good reason for letting the banks and cc companies pick what is on the front?

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m all for it. Lower my rates and extend my limits while you’re at it. Maybe just expunge the balance. I won’t stop you.

Ltryptophan's avatar

CC companies would be wise to do this anyway since emoney is about to make CC payments old school. Maybe they can squeeze out a little more credit card transactions by making the cards all personalizable. I would definitely want to show off my card more if it was custom, and the only way I can think to do that is to buy something. Isn’t that what they’re after, a chance at making some interest on my purchases? So what’s the problem? FBI should be concerned with bigger things than cc customizing by the cc co.‘s themselves.

This is the solution: when you get your CC you should have the RIGHT to customize online for all CCs. Then you should be able to change it at will by going online and having a replacement sent for a nominal fee. To make it real easy kiosks where people shop could be operated by an agent hired independently by all the CC co.‘s to handle instant customizing for a few bucks.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@seventhsense you’re talking apples and ducks, they are not even in the same ballpark. Not to mention that recently after a little tooth pulling congress did manage to change some of the unfair interest practices, among other things the CC co.‘s would rather have been left unchanged.

SeventhSense's avatar

I realize that..a little joke

timothykinney's avatar

@njnyjobs said: “creating a copy of the card is still considered counterfeiting…”

By who? It doesn’t say this in the State Laws of Texas or in my card holder agreement. I suspect you’re just voicing an opinion.

According to a law dictionary, counterfeiting is defined as: “The process of fraudulently manufacturing, altering, or distributing a product that is of lesser value than the genuine product.”

If you make a copy of your card, it is not of lesser value than the genuine product, because it can be used subject to the same cardholder agreement. The fact that you can buy things on the internet without a physical card (just knowledge of card details) is further evidence that credit cards are not subject to the same laws as currency.

Using any card that you are not on the cardholder agreement for is fraud, so if someone makes a copy of your card and tries to use it they are committing a crime. However, it’s anybody’s guess if you could be prosecuted for copying your own card and using it. The law doesn’t cover it, from what I have found.


@Ltryptophan wrote: “I would definitely want to show off my card more if it was custom, and the only way I can think to do that is to buy something”

I find this amusing. I don’t think of credit cards as something to show off at all. They’re just pieces of plastic. I wouldn’t pay for a personalized card and I wouldn’t use it more if I had one.

But I think a significant percentage of people would, because card companies are starting to spend a lot of advertising on it.

Ltryptophan's avatar

That’s it I’m calling visa!

timothykinney's avatar

@njnyjobs Nice link. But I remain unconvinced. :)

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