back to article O2 money-phone set to go live this year

O2 will be working with Wave Crest, FIS, Intelligent Environments and Visa Europe to get its O2 Money product into a mobile phone before the end of 2011. The new best friends will provide the infrastructure, point of sale terminals and customer support for the phone-embedded service, which is due to launch later this year. O2 …

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Stop

Why is this such a big deal to people?

People lose their credit cards, bank cards and phones all the time, they lose their entire wallets and purses with lots of cards, including bank cards, drivers license, Pink Pussycat membership card, the world doesn't stop! You simply phone the bank and the mobile provider and tell them what happend, the blocks go on immediately and the cards and phones are useless.

Why is losing your money-phone going to be any different? The bank will be aware your card details are in the phone, so you call the bank from another phone and they put the account blocks in immediately, they cover the loses for you and you then sort out the paper work to get a new phone and new details sorted out.

No doubt there will be a whole service industry set up to deal with the links between phones and bank accounts, there's money to be made from it so those in the know would be stupid to not set up some kind of business to make the whole business of replacing your phone/account details as easy as possible.

Stop stressing, let's see what's in place to protect us and then make a decision if you're happy to go ahead.

No doubt this post will push peoples buttons, so flame on!

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Anonymous Coward

You just lost your phone.

Suppose you've memorised your bank's emergency number. Just for the sake of argument. What are you going to make that call with?

Somebody else's overly-integrated wallet/key/pt/whatever else, and oh yes, also a phone? Would you hand that, even for a moment, to a haggard and harried-looking stranger who claims he's just lost his phone? I wouldn't.

Do you have coins left? If you find one in a gutter, will there be pay phones left for you to use, for that matter?

Suppose you manage to contact your bank, will they believe you, or perhaps demand a secret password or a key or something that was... stored on your phone? Just as a safety measure sir, very sorry sir, company policy sir?

I could go on. But really, as tech professionals, it's our job to look ahead and to take care of bootstrapping problems, catastrophic event recovery problems, along with security problems and everything else too. You'd think the industries would take care of that themselves, but they don't. So remove those pink glasses and smell the folgers.

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Not a new situation

Its already far from impossible to lose your cards and phone simultaneously, eg if you get mugged, misplace your handbag, jacket etc.

If anything, having the card and phone as a unit might allow for new methods of catching the thief. With a stolen phone if you switch it off and ditch the SIM it disappears (at least until the fool you sell it to starts using it). With this device you have to turn it on to use it, revealing your location in real time. Plus they could possibly get the phone to shout things out when the thief tries to use it.

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FAIL

go outside

...and make some friends?

Mind you, if you look as dodgy as you seem to imply (I would have no problems making a call to my bank if I didn't have anything on me and wasn't with friends), that might be easier said than done.

anon, cos I'm being a bit of a git in order to make a point...

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Anonymous Coward

Let me count the ways....

That's five parties, excluding the merchant AND the customer, none of them banks, to, er, pass virtual money from the customer to the merchant. Or well, their banks, actually.

This makes pretty clear why "everyone" wants in on this racket. It also makes very clear that what's being sold is the supposed customers, not the alleged convenience. And of course it's all prorpietary so looking at the code you can't, leaving you no option but to simply trust that all parties involved are trustworthy. And then there's the privacy concerns. Apparently the money's good enough for them to merely hope you wave your concerns away like they expect you to do with your money too.

Me, I like simplicity and would like to know what I all that added complexity buys me. As the customer, I don't see it. I don't understand it. So I cannot logically want it. But seeing all the pressure the sellers pile on to use it anyway, I can but hope I can hold on to my cold, hard cash for as long as possible. I do understand that, oh yes I do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You just lost your phone.

>>What are you going to make that call with?

Admittedly for me, for most of my day I'm either near a phone at the office (or when I'm at the clients office), my home phone or I'm out with my friends and/or partner.

>>Suppose you manage to contact your bank, will they believe you?

Why would this be any different than if I lost my credit card? I know my address, date of birth and other standard questions that they normally ask to confirm who I am.

But saying all of that, there is nothing about this new phone that makes me think "I must get one".

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, now.

But what if your phone also was functioning as your keychain, another oh-so useful touting of NFC? Can you get back into the office then?

The basic problem is that of all your eggs in one basket and not having thought out very well how to recover from catastrophic failure. Yes, assuming the phone hasn't run dry before you found out or the thief hasn't removed the battery or stuck the thing in a rf-blocker of sorts, you can trigger custom software on the phone to do all sorts of things provided you thought to put it on there in advance.

Or you could even trigger that after some timeout; certain hi-sec GSMs come with remote key management and such that does exactly that, causing the PM of a small country to complain that the thing felt like a tamagotchi. He had to tell it he was still alive every eight hours or it'd self-destruct.

The functions aren't so related that integrating them gets makes sense for the end user beyond "it's all stuck in one basket now", and hey there's a cpu attached, how useful, though it does bring new privacy concerns.

My point was that pooh-poohing the freshly created single basket problem as if the fall-out to failure there is identical to having multiple baskets isn't quite the most reasonable way to look at it.

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Pint

only matter of time.

... before the hackers figure out a way to steal your virtual cash without you knowing it

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