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But really, does ShopSafe have to depend on Flash?
I can't imagine why it would. At its core, Flash is a runtime environment for software developed using Adobe's ActionScript language.

I can understand that there may be a great expense in rewriting an app in some other language, but ActionScript is similar enough to JavaScript (AS3 is a superset of ECMAScript) that porting the code shouldn't be too difficult. You might need to replace some Flash-specific classes with original code, but hopefully there shouldn't be a lot of that in an application like ShopSafe.

There are also systems like Apache Royale, which (as long as you avoid Flash-specific classes) can let you write the app once and compile it for both Flash and JavaScript.

Why wouldn't BofA port their app? Not for any technical reason. They probably decided that they didn't want to spend the money to actually port it.
 


But really, does ShopSafe have to depend on Flash? I think not. It seems other vendors provide similar services without Flash, like Citi Virtual Account Numbers to name one.
Actually, Citi's Virtual Account Numbers also relies on a Flash application. I imagine it's probably the same flash app that powered BoA's service. Capital One's Eno requires a browser extension. Why can't the banks just provide a simple web interface for generating numbers?
One related surprise: I'd posted a "real" card to Consumer Reports online. The card expired, and I'd decided not to renew. Somehow CR managed to bill and collect the renewal without the new card's dates....
It's called Visa Account Updater or Mastercard Automatic Billing Updater, and it allows merchants who have your card information on file for recurring billing/payments to receive updated card info from your bank when they issue you a new card. So, it's better to proactively cancel your recurring services properly rather than relying on expired payment info to make it stop.
At least in theory, ShopSafe would be very useful if you had to make payments to companies you did not trust with your real card number because they may set it up for autorenewals you don't want.
Now they recommend using the actual BofA card number, since they're confident in their security measures, or using a digital wallet.
What I really find useful with virtual card numbers is putting time and dollar limits on them, for certain types of transactions, and the banks' recommended replacements are no substitute for that.

One situation is where I have concerns about the company I'm buying something from. For example, I used both MoviePass and Sinemia over the past couple years but had severe misgivings about their business models. I used virtual account numbers with expiration dates of only a couple of months, and dollar limits of just a little bit more than the initial annual subscription I purchased, so that they would not be able to do any additional charges or service renewals without my express action (giving them new payment information). That turned out to be prescient, as both companies ran into financial trouble, and there were numerous reports of billing issues.

Another example I've used them for is small online companies or foreign companies where I want/need to buy something from them but have no previous experience with them. In both examples, while I'm always not liable for fraudulent charges, if I give them my real credit card info, that still allows unrestricted ability to make fraudulent charges in the future, whether the company is a bad actor or if the credit card info gets stolen. It's much easier to prevent a fraudulent charge from happening in the first place with time and dollar limits using virtual card numbers, rather than having to dispute a bad charge after the fact.

Another use case is, for example, trial subscriptions - you know, the kind where they say "free 2 week trial, but you have to provide your credit card info, and at the end of your trial, we'll automatically charge you for a subscription unless you cancel beforehand" - but I really only need it for that trial period? Virtual card numbers with a short validity period and a $1 limit are great for those . You don't have to worry about accidentally forgetting to cancel your trial, and the card info is useless to the company if they try to use it later or if it gets stolen later.
 


Why wouldn't BofA port their app? Not for any technical reason. They probably decided that they didn't want to spend the money to actually port it.
The big banks seem to be heavily pushing mobile banking and apps like Zelle. I cynically wonder ;-) if they prefer mobile banking because it discourages customers from balancing their bank accounts and discovering how much is being skimmed from their bank accounts by assorted service charges.
 



But really, does ShopSafe have to depend on Flash? I think not. It seems other vendors provide similar services without Flash, like Citi Virtual Account Numbers to name one.
I just tried generating a virtual account number for my Citi Double Cash Back card via the stated link, and the process required Flash. Drat.
Oops. Now I regret ignoring my first instinct, which was not to post a reply... Also regret that I assumed that no one else would use Flash for such a purpose. Sorry!
 


I'm referring to the single virtual number one can manually enter for online purchases, seen in the Apple Wallet's info for the card. This number stays constant until you regenerate it.
Is this true for [non-Apple] cards or only for banks that enable it? I am unable to find this number on my cards, all of which are from Chase. I'm using iOS 12.4.1.
 


One related surprise: I'd posted a "real" card to Consumer Reports online. The card expired, and I'd decided not to renew. Somehow CR managed to bill and collect the renewal without the new card's dates....
Some banks will allow new charges from companies that they know are subscription-based, even though an account is over-limit or even cancelled due to fraud (in which case, the charge is automatically sent to the new account), if the company has repeated charges in the past.
 


I recently switched alarm monitoring companies. My old company was being recalcitrant in closing my account (emails, voice mails, certified letter, etc.), so I called the bank (Citi) that issued the credit card that was being used for the monthly auto-debit. They told me that the security company was allowed to auto-debit my card as I had given them permission to do so. To my surprise, they refused to let me delete that permission. So, every month for the last two months, when the auto-debit for the old alarm monitoring company comes in, I have disputed the charge and had it reversed in my favor. I suppose one of us three will eventually become tired of doing this and will update their records. It won't be me.
 


Is this true for [non-Apple] cards or only for banks that enable it? I am unable to find this number on my cards, all of which are from Chase. I'm using iOS 12.4.1.
This is a feature of the Apple Card, visible only in the Apple Wallet under 'Card Info'. Dunno what banks other than Goldman Sachs would have to do.

The most detailed description I've seen of these Apple Card features is from last March at its announcement: How Apple Card Works (TechCrunch.com)
 


In all the discussion about the "Apple Card" I haven't read one thing about the issuing bank - Goldman Sachs. What a short memory we have. I'm disappointed that Apple chose Goldman Sachs. The guilty depend, like other banks that have been caught out (Wells Fargo, for example), on people's inability to learn from past behavior.
 


DFG

One related surprise: I'd posted a "real" card to Consumer Reports online. The card expired, and I'd decided not to renew. Somehow CR managed to bill and collect the renewal without the new card's dates....
Yep. That's the banks being complicit in an (almost) fraud. They will helpfully give creditors your new credit card info without your consent.
 


DFG

I just tried generating a virtual account number for my Citi Double Cash Back card via the stated link, and the process required Flash. Drat.
It may require Flash, but it works well. I really appreciate being able to do that.

I will also note that not all Citi credit cards have this feature. Of my three Citi cards, only the Double Cash Back lets me do this.
 


I recently switched alarm monitoring companies. My old company was being recalcitrant in closing my account (emails, voice mails, certified letter, etc.), so I called the bank (Citi) that issued the credit card that was being used for the monthly auto-debit. They told me that the security company was allowed to auto-debit my card as I had given them permission to do so. To my surprise, they refused to let me delete that permission. So, every month for the last two months, when the auto-debit for the old alarm monitoring company comes in, I have disputed the charge and had it reversed in my favor. I suppose one of us three will eventually become tired of doing this and will update their records. It won't be me.
Many years ago I was talking to a bank employee, and she told me of the problems with auto-switching of recurring charges to new cards and of significant problems that occur when companies accidentally over-bill checking accounts where automatic withdrawals are allowed. Consequently, I have never used these services.
 


Yep. That's the banks being complicit in an (almost) fraud. They will helpfully give creditors your new credit card info without your consent.
I generally agree with that characterization, however, whether it's a bug or a feature can depend on the situation. If banks proactively change your credit card number because they expect fraud might happen, it can be a nuisance to go change card numbers you had been using for recurring charges.
 


I just tried generating a virtual account number for my Citi Double Cash Back card via the stated link, and the process required Flash. Drat.
Yes, asking for a virtual account number through Citibank requires Adobe Flash, the only reason I use Flash — just to show a little credit card with rolling numbers. Geesh! Can Citibank just pop up a number that I am going to copy and paste somewhere else?
 


Many years ago I was talking to a bank employee, and she told me of the problems with auto-switching of recurring charges to new cards and of significant problems that occur when companies accidentally over-bill checking accounts where automatic withdrawals are allowed. Consequently, I have never used these services.
I suggest you file a complaint with your state attorney general. They will do an investigation and, if they can, which is not always, will have Citi make an exception on your behalf.
 


I recently switched alarm monitoring companies. My old company was being recalcitrant in closing my account (emails, voice mails, certified letter, etc.), so I called the bank (Citi) that issued the credit card that was being used for the monthly auto-debit. They told me that the security company was allowed to auto-debit my card as I had given them permission to do so. To my surprise, they refused to let me delete that permission. So, every month for the last two months, when the auto-debit for the old alarm monitoring company comes in, I have disputed the charge and had it reversed in my favor. I suppose one of us three will eventually become tired of doing this and will update their records. It won't be me.
And amazingly enough, Citibank will re-route to a new credit card number when you change the credit card number. However, if you just place your credit card on file to pay at the end of the month, but don't fill an auto-debit form, it is treated very differently.
 


And amazingly enough, Citibank will re-route to a new credit card number when you change the credit card number. However, if you just place your credit card on file to pay at the end of the month, but don't fill an auto-debit form, it is treated very differently.
Are you talking about the difference between automatic withdrawl from a bank account (as some insurance companies do) and keeping a credit (or debit) card number on file for purchases and payments? Or are there two distinct ways of setting up credit card payments?
 


I'm no fan of Goldman Sachs or the investment banking industry in general. However, the scale, reach, and access to capital required of the issuer of the Apple Card means that Apple's choice of companies was limited. Pretty much every card issuer capable of handling the Apple Card is going to have something in its current operations or history that financial services skeptics will disagree with.

In any case, there are plenty of credit card and banking options, plus the cardholder benefits of the Apple Card aren't that great... so I don't think anybody is missing out on much by avoiding the Apple Card. Not to mention, the "you're not carrying it in your pocket right" problem just adds to the disadvantages of the Apple Card.
 


access to capital required of the issuer of the Apple Card means that Apple's choice of companies was limited.
When I just checked, the market cap of Goldman Sachs was $77.52 billion (9/11/19, 12:18 PM CDT). Apple? $1.007 trillion.

That $.007 trillion and some "spare change" under the cushions of those round couches in Cupertino would buy Goldman Sachs.
 


I don't want to get into the accounting and finance weeds here (we're really here to talk about Apple tech stuff, right?), but, briefly, market capitalization does not have a strong relationship to funds available for expenditure. Market cap is a measure of the price that traders will pay other traders for a public company's shares. It isn't a particularly useful tool for predicting how much a company would receive for newly issued shares.

Now let's think strategically. Even if Apple did want to use some of its cash hoard to start or acquire a bank, it would face crippling antitrust scrutiny. WalMart has faced similar challenges over the last few decades. Further, Apple most likely has no desire to enter any industry or sector that is subject to the level of international, federal, state, and local government regulation and oversight financial services companies face.

In many ways, Marcus Bank probably is the best choice for Apple and Apple Card holders. It's a new, FDIC-affiliated bank with good access to capital and talent. It's hungry for new customers and has a huge incentive to treat Apple Card customers well. An AMEX or Citibank probably would operate the Apple Card as just another co-branded card in their massive offerings.
 


I don't want to get into the accounting and finance weeds here (we're really here to talk about Apple tech stuff, right?)
Hey, Ryan, I wasn't suggesting Apple should buy Goldman-Sachs, I was just trying to add some humourous insight into the Apple <-> Goldman Sachs relationship.
Even if Apple did want to use some of its cash hoard to start or acquire a bank, it would face crippling antitrust scrutiny. WalMart has faced similar challenges over the last few decades.
Sam Walton's wife came from an Oklahoma banking / ranching family. Where Walmart itself has been blocked from starting banks for several reasons, the family remains in the banking business. Any number of current and past executives of Apple have plenty of personal funds to start or buy a bank, hedge fund, or insurance company, if they wanted. Would be a conflict of interest, were Apple to do business with such companies...
Now let's think strategically.
We've no idea what "deal" Apple and Goldman have with each other. Given the low rate of interest paid to investors, and the high rates of interest charged on cards, card lending has the potential to be very lucrative, more so if a card issuer has only very high quality cardholders, as I'd presume folks with track records paying for iPhones and expensive cell service are.

Apple, with its enormous mountain of cash and cash equivalents may have a deal with Goldman based on Apple financing Apple card costs through placement of Apple investments. If so, that may show up in Apple / Goldman financial statements.

But interest is just part of how issuers make money from credit cards.
Merchant Maverick said:
What Are Interchange Fees For Credit Card Processing
Now, you might think that the card-issuing banks make most of their money from collecting late payment fees and charging interest to consumers who have let their credit card debt pile up over time. Although this is certainly a lucrative source of income (and consumer credit card debt is a huge national problem), the fact is that interchange fees account for most of a bank’s profits when their credit cards are used, even when the cards are used by responsible consumers who pay their full credit card balance on time, every month. . . .
 


When I just checked, the market cap of Goldman Sachs was $77.52 billion (9/11/19, 12:18 PM CDT). Apple? $1.007 trillion.

That $.007 trillion and some "spare change" under the cushions of those round couches in Cupertino would buy Goldman Sachs.
Ummm...Isn't this calculation off by a factor of 10? Sorry, I'm a recovering bean counter. ;)
 


Ummm...Isn't this calculation off by a factor of 10? Sorry, I'm a recovering bean counter. ;)
Faced with so many eye-glazing zeroes and commas, I turned to a billions to trilions calculator I found on the ever-trustworthy internet. And may then have missed a digit.

Market caps Sept 12 2019 at approx 1:36 PM CDT
Apple $1.017 Trillion
Goldman-Sachs $78.78 Billion
Carefully using nine zeroes for a billion and twelve for a trillion, I do this math. Further apolgies for the numerical alignment, I tried to use the table feature on the site, but didn't get it to work

Apple $1,017,000,000,000
Goldman 78,780,000,000
AAPL - GS $ 938,220,000,000

Which, I think, confirms Jeff's correction of my earlier post. Apple wouldn't be able to buy Goldman for the .007 Trillion and loose change in Cupertino's round couches, as I suggested yesterday. They might have to throw in the couches with the change.
 


My biggest issue with the Apple Card is that you can not download transactions to enter in your accounting software (e.g. Mactivity or Quicken).
 


When I just checked, the market cap of Goldman Sachs was $77.52 billion (9/11/19, 12:18 PM CDT). Apple? $1.007 trillion. That $.007 trillion and some "spare change" under the cushions of those round couches in Cupertino would buy Goldman Sachs.
Bad math: $78 billion is $0.078 trillion, about 8%!
 


Does anybody else feel the Apple card is inconveniently heavy? Most credits cards weigh around 5 g. The Amazon Prime Card is more than 12 g,, only to be topped by the Apple card at almost 15 g! These latter two cards are so heavy, they slip out of my wallet. Friction is not enough to hold them in. Also, the metallic sound when dropping it on the table is not exactly pleasing. What exactly is the point of using titanium?
 



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