I often take a moment to thank a new follower on Twitter and in doing so, I’ll get the opportunity to check out a new business, blog or even a quick idea within a person’s profile. Approximately two weeks ago, I received a new follower, @GolverCard which led me to their site. To put it simply, the company is going to provide you with a debit card that is backed by gold and silver (hence GolVer Card). According to the “How it Works Section of the Site”
GolVerCard is a payment system linked to real gold & silver stored in your account. While all credit and debit cards are linked to a bank account funded by currency, this is the first prepaid and debit card in the world to be linked to real allocated gold and silver.
Cardholders can exchange gold and silver bullion into liquid assets instantly, and withdraw local currency at ATM’s, or use their GolVerCard to purchase goods and services wherever and whenever.
Basically, they are playing off the intense fear that people have regarding Fiat Currency. There are so many problems with this business it is unbelievable, and when I started asking questions via Twitter I was suddenly blocked.
Problems with the GolVer Card
First of all gold and silver are commodities and thus subject to wild pricing changes. Below are the 2 year charts for Gold and Silver:
While both those charts show a downward trend, that is not my first contention (although a reasonable one at that), the point is that look at the short term blips – your debit card/cash account should not be subject to those short term swings! Imagine you deposit $1,000 and 30 days later you have the purchasing power of $900? It could happen and that is way too scary for what is to be considered a checking account.
The second problem has to do with logistics of the company, of which there are no answers on the website. Lets first assume the company owns the actual metals. Do you really want to put your trust in a Singapore company that they actually have the metal in their vaults? If that doesn’t sound like a future episode of American Greed, I am not exactly sure what does! In the likely event that the company is just investing the Commodities’ ETF/ETN do you really want to trust a Singapore company that their investment arm is really buying more shares of the ETF/ETN?
Fine, maybe I am being cynical and they actually do have the metal or ETF shares and every time I make a $50 deposit they’ll buy more to match. What the hell happens when I make a purchase? Are there fees associated with it? Am I getting hit with trading fees when I deposit money? I can’t image when I deposit money into my account and they now have to back it with a commodity, that it will be free. In the lineage of problems, next up you have the problem of selling of the ETFs and/or Metal. For US Residents a gain is going to trigger capital gains taxes. Imagine that! You buy a gallon of milk and get a 1099 with it as well? That’s even assuming they are equipped to handle that type of reporting.
I am not going to go as far as saying that GolVer Card is a scam yet since they aren’t taking deposits, so what could they be scamming? Notwithstanding, it is likely to be a terrible personal finance decision to get involved with them either as an investor (if they are looking for seeding) or as a depositor.