Innovation That Matters

Mobile app aims to curb drunken overspending

Work & Lifestyle

DrnkPay is set to help users rope themselves in when they’ve had too much to drink and bars them from using their cards and online banks.

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There are few things worse than waking up with a chronic hangover, checking your bank balance and realising you’ve spent hundreds of pounds on alcohol, take-aways, taxis and clubs. For some reason when we’re drunk, money turns to monopoly money – completely disposable. But a new invention could put an end to those reckless money-wasting nights out.

Developed by iBe TSE Ltd, DrnkPay connects debit and credit cards to BACTrack’s and Quantac’s breathalyzers and biosensors, and users have to prove to the app that they’re under their own preset limit. A user starts off by setting their own drink limit while sober (be that one pint or 10, it’s entirely their choice) then to keep spending they’ll have to use the breathalyser or sensor to show they’ve not passed the limit. Then once they hit that limit the app will take control of cards and online bank accounts for the next 12 hours (a configurable timespan) – no more beer, pizza or cigarettes. The user can edit which purchases are blocked, so if they just want to stop themselves getting more drunk – but would like a takeaway – they can select it to block pubs and bars. There’s also a handy “Help me out” feature which will allow them to get an Uber home, which could prove very useful to anyone in a real mess who just wants their bed.

The technology is initially being aimed at the banking and finance industry, so banks and credit card companies can issue it to customers who are struggling to budget properly when clearly wasting cash while drunk. Selling to the consumer market is something that’s being considered by further down the line. It’s on both iOS and Android platforms.

There is a bigger push than ever to make consumers aware of their alcohol consumption. The OnusBlue patch is a particularly clever and cheap way to detect the amount of alcohol in the blood, and this Virtual Reality Cave was designed to help people with all addictions learn coping mechanisms. As well as curbing spending, what other applications could be used for alcohol monitoring tech?




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