How does this work?

This doesn’t make sense to me:

Exclusive-Discover to enable tracking of purchases at gun retailers from April

Discover Financial Services, a provider of credit cards, told Reuters it will allow its network to track purchases at gun retailers come April, making it the first among its peers to move ahead with the initiative aimed at helping authorities probe gun-related crimes.

“We remain focused on continuing to protect and support lawful purchases on our network while protecting the privacy of cardholders,” Discover said in its statement to Reuters.

How can they track purchases while protecting cardholders? My primary hypothesis is they are counting on gun owners to believe a lie.

Pay cash when you can and use Virtual Cards when you can’t.


6 thoughts on “How does this work?

  1. I don’t see how virtual cards would help. The problem here is dishonest issuers. Using a virtual card will make no difference if the issuer is dishonest, those only protect against dishonest merchants or robbers.
    The obvious immediate response is to dump Discover. “Go woke and go broke” should be our mantra.

  2. @pkoning – the card is tied to a checking account. The transaction never hits the Discover network. I don’t know how widespread that is, but I do agree that it’s best to avoid them.

    I do, in general, find the notion of a virtual card as something I might find useful in the future. I infer, from the reference to a browser plugin, that it works for online transactions. So it seems as if there’s no utility for in-person point-of-sale purchases.

    • I see a virtual card as potentially very helpful in curbing credit card fraud.

      Online privacy? Perhaps not so much. If you order anything you still need to provide, at a minimum, a billing and shipping address.

  3. Can you buy a gift card, and use that instead? And there is still the age-old question of what to do with the tiger after you catch it? Tracking purchases will only create lists that you do what with?
    Cancel a 100 million people? Make their life hell? They’re already going to do that just for being human. No gun purchases necessary.
    And how much of that info is already in the wrong hands? I get that it’s bad. But this sort of thing generally goes very bad for the one’s tricked into the woke BS.
    Big banks said they weren’t going to loan money to the gun industry 25 years ago.
    They got hammered with enough withdrawals to change their minds in a hurry.
    In the Clinton era Smith and Wesson lost 75% of it’s value for cutting a deal with that group of morons. And it brought ownership from a London based clown-crew back to America. Cheap. So, it was actually a net positive.
    Discover will be playing this game only so much.
    Write them a nice letter telling them their services are no longer needed and why.
    Their wolves, money is their food. No one likes to go hungry.
    Gun owners ARE the power in this country. We just haven’t truly figured that out yet.

  4. they say they’ll “allow” it; they don’t say they’ll require it – at least not yet.
    the other issue is that gun dealers who take cards nearly always sell other things also.
    Currently, most dealers fall under “Sporting Goods”.
    How will they separate out gun sales from other sales, or will they assume that all sales from a dealer are guns? I’m sure that dealers would fight a requirement that they maintain 2 different systems and ring up guns separately.

    Discover is already running a distant 3rd; if they push this, it will only drive them further behind.

  5. Note the wording: “track purchases at gun retailers”. Credit card companies have long had reporting codes for the type of _store_ on a credit card purchase.. Now they’re adding one. There never has been a code for the type of item purchased, and still isn’t one.

    The item description may be sent to the credit card company, but it takes a knowledgeable human to accurately classify such descriptions – and much more so if the gun stores learn to report the model sold like “Ruger 10/22”, rather than “Rifle Ruger 10/22”. Then if someone uses a computer to try to count the guns sold from the description, they’ll find huge numbers from hardware stores, etc., (staple guns, solder guns, caulk guns, “pistol-grip grease guns”, riffle files, revolving files, …) but miss most of the actual firearms.

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