Simple Panic

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today I posted a public photo of how nicely done a bank start-up’s packaging was and didn’t realize my card number was in plain view. Now, I’m a pretty rational individual so I did what everyone else would have done which is call the customer service number on the back of the card. Apparently they have Sundays off so I had to leave two anxious messages on their answering machine.

They promptly called and I was so agitated I messed up my birthdate during the identity verification process. Upon explaining what happened the support person said I wasn’t the first, which didn’t surprise me due to the very photogenic packaging.

When I first opened it I thought, “wow they’re serious, I bet a lot of people are posting photos of this which could be a great awareness strategy.” The packaging is square, which stands out among other mail, laser etched high quality cardboard with a big blue rubber band holding a clean white bank card. Move the rubber band just a half centimeter south and the card number would be completely covered, avoiding this whole situation. If this isn’t a great case for Defensive Design…

This got me thinking about start-ups moving into established territory like banking. I mentioned last week, the scariest thing about [bank start-up] is giving them money — not because I don’t think they’ll lose it, they are backed by the FDIC, but because I don’t think they’ve experienced what established banks have. Customer service is quite possibly their only hope, which underlines how crucial around the clock support is. If that brave Sunday afternoon support guy hadn’t called when he did I probably would have given up on them come Monday.

  1. Except when I’m hungry. You should have seen this post before lunch.
  2. It’s worth noting I still haven’t deposited any money into this account, therefore my panic may have been a little preemptive (possibly due to hunger). However, anytime I see the word Visa on a plastic card with my name on it I assume charges can be made.