The Credit Card Expiration Blues

I am sure this has happened to everyone. My work credit card expired and I was issued a new one. Sadly, I forgot to update that info in Google checkout. And so yesterday at 6:55am, the extra 20gigs of storage I was paying Google for in Gmail went away. Emails started bouncing, even on the forwarded ones which I was actually getting. Email has been a mess for 24 hours and Gmail is still not working right for me even though I fixed the credit card and repurchased the extra 20gigs yesterday morning.

I can deal with a messed up email situation. In fact it is a blessing for me. I got so much work done yesterday that I was able to leave the office early and take a yoga class in the late afternoon.

But this credit card expiration thing is a big issue when so much of our commerce goes through stored payment credentials on web services. I must have stored payment credentials on between fifty and a hundred web services at this point. And I have a number of credit cards, a VISA and an AMEX for personal, and AMEX for several of our business entities. So this creates a lot of complexity when my credentials change.

I've blogged about this problem before and people have pointed me to various services that were built to address these issues. I've looked at many of them and have not found one that really works for me. Frankly, I think the credit card issuers should solve this problem for us. Why can't all these payment systems auto update the credentials when a new card is issued? That would save us all a lot of problems.

If the credit card industry can't fix stuff like this, new payment methods are going to come along that are easier to use and work better on the web. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs working on payments ideas. So I expect problems like this one will be a thing of the past a decade from now. The only question is who will solve these problems first.