Scottish Students Create Handbag Designed to Stop People Overusing Their Credit Cards

November 24, 2015

A trio of students based in Dundee have designed a handbag that discourages users from spending money on their credit cards.

The bag, which its designers are calling a “unisex satchel”, is programmed to generate a deep Ray Winstone-like voice saying “don’t even think about it” and “put it down, put it back” when a credit card is taken out of the bag.

The innovative bag functions by having a dedicated credit card slot positioned beside a red light and a sensor that sets off the sound recordings that could potentially keep people from adding to their debts.

Kirsty Sneddon, Leanne Fischler and Rebecca Smith are the three fourth-year students behind the bag and they’re all studying at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.

“As soon as you take the credit card out, it sends a signal and inside the bag we have a whole load of electronics which we coded ourselves using a platform called Arduino,” explained Fischler.

“It receives a signal when you take the credit card out and it tells the circuit board that the credit card’s moved and it starts to play sequences from our recordings,” she told BBC Scotland.

The bag is apparently designed to offer an initially polite reminder to a credit card user and say: “Don’t you think that’s a bit much?” Which is then followed up by a more discouraging “Oh, not again” if the bag’s user continues to reach for their credit card.

Eventually, however, the aim is to somewhat embarrass a credit card user and potentially deter them entirely from increasing their credit card balance and leading to potential debt problems.

The product is only designed as a conceptual piece and not as something that might go on to be mass produced but the students are nonetheless hoping their designs will get people talking.

“We’re all passionate about using design to create change and starting conversations,” Smith told the BBC. “We want people to see it and interact with it,” she said of the bag.

According to themoneycharity.org.uk, total UK credit card debt in September 2015 was £62.7bn – working out on average as £2,349  per household.

If you’re finding it difficult to limit your credit card spending and your debts are running out of control then you can get help and advice on how to start making positive changes by calling Scotland Debt Solutions.