If you’re the kind of person who goes goes online to buy all kinds of weird things in the early hours of the morning, after an alcohol-fueled night out, you may be interested in a new smartphone app that blocks your credit cards for 12 hours if it thinks you’re too drunk to shop.
DrnkPay is a smartphone app that stops users from making purchases while drunk, which is apparently something people end up regretting. It was developed by UK financial consultancy company iBe TSE, after research found that half of British alcohol drinkers admitted that they regret a purchase made when drunk. The survey that inspired Drnkpay also revealed a few bizarre examples of things bought while intoxicated, like flying lessons, a rowing club lifetime membership for someone who doesn’t row, 30 pairs of flip flops, and even a live chicken.
“This is a problem many of us have encountered, so we decided to create a simple solution which uses the latest technology,” said Francesco Scarnera, CEO of iBe TSE. “Once you’ve hit your self-imposed limit, the app will lock your card and prevent you making further payments. It’s up to you whether to block all payments, or just certain ‘weak points’, such as takeaways, clubs, or that flight that seems like such a great idea at 4am.”
But how does a smartphone app know when you’re drunk, right? Well, that’s what the companion breathalyzer is for. It connects to your smartphone and sends data to the DrnkPay app whenever you blow in it. Once it decides you’ve had too much to drink, it locks your credit cards for 12 hours, which iBe TSE believes is plenty of time to sober up. Some people might have a problem with needing to blow into a breathalyzer in public, so the app also comes with a less conspicuous alternative – a bracelet-like biosensor, which constantly analyses the alcohol content in the user’s bloodstream.
For DrnkPay to work, users obviously have to link their credit/debit cards to the app. They can then set a limit of drinks they wish to have (like 3 pints of beer), and the app will only block the cards if they go over it. Also, the app allows you only block the cards for certain things, like online shopping, bars, food, etc., and also comes with a “Help me out” feature, which calls you an emergency Uber to take you home.
iBe TSE is currently in talk with several banks to make DrnkPay available to their clients for free.