| December 20, 2010

MIT lab creates wallet to reduce credit card debt

In recent months, consumers have turned to debit, checks and cash as alternatives to help them with their holiday budgeting.

However, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have created a set of wallets that consumers can use to keep their credit card debt in check.

The team developed three prototypes called ‘Proverbial Wallets,’ which communicate with your bank account through a cellular device, MSNBC reports. The ‘Bumblee’ model buzzes through a vibrating motor whenever a bank processes a transaction, establishing a connection between a credit card purchase and the consumer.

“We make the same swiping motion whether we’re buying a cup of coffee or a large-screen TV – or even worse, automatic transactions go on without our knowledge at all. Our actions are divorced from the consequences,” John Kestner, one of the wallets’ creators, told the news source in an e-mail.

In addition, The ‘Mother Bear’ model features a hinge that makes it more difficult to open according to how much money a linked account has remaining, and the ‘Peacock’ model shrinks and swells based on these totals, the news source says.

The wallets are scheduled to retail for $60, but may be helpful to consumers who need added incentives to cut their credit card spending.

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