Starbucks Shuts Down Jonathan's Card Over Fraud Concerns

The Jonathan’s Card social experiment is over. The experiment proved that someone will always come along and ruin anything that’s fun. Since July, the entire world has shared one Starbucks stored-value payment and rewards card, which originally belonged to a guy named Jonathan. People from all over bought coffees using the card, sneaked part of its balance over to their own cards, refilled the card, and followed the card’s fortunes on Twitter. It’s all over now: Starbucks deactivated the card on Friday evening over fraud concerns. Specifically, an automated script that steals from the card.

The card wasn’t hacked: after all, the number was public. The prankster who came up with the script is selling the cards on eBay to benefit Feed the Children, not to buy an iPad as he claimed in the blog post title.

Oh, well. The spirit of Jonathan’s Card lives on every time someone pays for the coffee of the person behind them in the drive-thru line. Or, as an announcement on the card’s site philosophized:

We believe this is the start to a bigger more glowing picture. In the last 5 days or so, we’ve received hundreds of stories of people doing small things to brighten a stranger’s day: Paying for the next car at the drive through. Sharing a pick me up with someone who has had a rough time. Charging up a phone card and sharing it with strangers at the airport. The list goes on, and on, and on…

So, tonight we lose our barcode. But of course, we never needed it in the first place.

Jonathan’s Card: Starbucks Shuts Down Social Experiment Over Fraud Concerns [Mashable] (Thanks, GitEmSteveDave!)
Jonathan’s Card [Official Site]
How to use Jonathan’s card to buy yourself an iPad [Sam Odio]

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