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Unvalidated Ideas #019

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Credit Card short code information system

You know how credit card charges have a sort of "short code" that can be put on them? Those codes/descriptions are usually called "statement descriptor"s.

Statement descriptors aren't very long -- they're too short to write anything useful or in-depth about purchases. We can fix that! Well more like hack around it and provide some value.

Build a system that records purchase information (set by the merchant or user) accessible by a VERY short link meant to go into statement descriptors.

Short links are already quite common on the internet for link redirection, but this is a whole new use case that benefits customers and merchants.

The gist is to make a URL like chrg.info/a18o5s lead to information about a purchase that was made, and ensure the merchant puts that in the statement descriptor.

Another great thing about this idea is you don't have to build most of the infrastructure to make it happen! Link shortening services are already out there, and if you charge enough you can actually leave the heavy lifting and infrastructure to them under the covers.

This is absolutely "big data", but there are some bounds -- limited retention for charges (1-3 years?) means that we don't have to retain every code forever.

With a deep enough integration (and if you become well known), you could operate a just general statement descriptor site for the whole industry to use. Sites could ask for and register descriptor IDs that you make sure they can access and look up.

Read my raw notes >

NOTE This idea is obviously not Stripe specific! The credit card statement descriptor is a universal feature of credit cards themselves, and could work on any merchant.

Also, there's no reason to stop at only credit cards -- what if you could become the purchase information storage engine for many different modes of purchases? This could turn into a fraud prevention tool if you go far enough (can you fill out the details of a purchase?)

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Prior editions are available @ https://unvalidatedideas.com/editions/000 (replace the 000 with something like 001). For example, check out the first edition.

Victor (vados@vadosware.io)