back to article Bung a tenner to a mate's mobile number with new Barclays app

PingIt is Barclays' answer to PayPal and its ilk, linking payments to a mobile-phone number instead of an email address but providing a banking brand to back them up. Initially only those with a Barclays current account are able to make payments, but anyone with a UK bank can register their phone number to receive money - the …

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WTF?

Another Virus Target?

Am I alone in thinking this is going to become yet another sneaky virus target, where the smartphone will be encouraged to send payments to numbers which you never realised were in your phonebook?

Or am I panicking unnecessarily.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another Virus Target?

Yep, can see the blackhats rubbing their hands with glee at this one. Of course should you fall foul to malware I'm sure the banks will reimburse you with a loud raspberry and howls of laughter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another Virus Target?

As they said on BBC Radio4's Today show - Pay Pal seems to be going pretty well, there are relatively few examples of people getting suckered in to fraud via emails.

Also, this sort of system has been working in various African countries for years now with little, if any problems. Furthermore, it's written into law that the bank has to show that you were negligent and willingly gave your information away, otherwise they have to refund fraudulent transactions.

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Re: Re: Another Virus Target?

Just to add this system was developed by the Dfid, and been in Africa, India an Afghanistan, Turkey for years, with little fraud, of cause their was little money involve as well. But fear from hackers should not hold us back from useful developments.

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Silver badge

COULD BE GOOD FOR...

small businesses, should be cheaper than lugging a card machine from location to location,

BUT

I'm sure the banks will think up all sorts of charges for the privilege to use it. I bet call cost connections to your account will cost you and they'll charge for you to receive it as well.

A future cash cow for the banks.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Useful for Plumbers?

Quote

sole traders such as window cleaners or plumbers

Plumbers? You must be joking. In my experience they don't get out of bed for less than £100. Then its £30/hour minimum.

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Silver badge

Re: Useful for Plumbers?

In a recessionary/low-growth environment with the building trade in the shitter I should think their rates will be declining somewhat. Much more of this and they'll be paying you the callout fee out of gratitude.

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Gold badge

Well at least it will be regulated unlike PayPal. Any bank service needs to abide by the financial regulations, PayPal doesn't as it isn't a bank.

I imagine many companies won't want to give out their mobile phone numbers though.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Paypal is regulated now, the EU made them on the grounds that they are clearly a payment processor/bank.

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Re: Err...

That's what I thought until recently. You might want to read up on the latest developments on that front.

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Anonymous Coward

@Eddie

You appear to be correct, I stand corrected... This is an outrageous state of affairs.

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"Intriguingly the app's licence includes a reference to Google Maps and Google Earth (as well as the obligatory nod to the open-source crypto stack SSLeay). There's no sign of location-based integration yet, but it's obviously something Barclays has in mind."

Or would that be the Branch Locator built into the App???

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Anonymous Coward

I smell a disaster on the horizon

I dumped all and everything to do with Barclays because I couldn't trust the online banking system to tell me how much I had in my accounts at anytime and the customer services was appalling, so much so that the local Branch advised me to always come into the branch to sort out issues rather than calling the 24/7 number. If you can't get that right in this day and age you must have problems and they want people to trust their app to send money quickly to a phone number!

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Anonymous Coward

They have had this in East Africa for years. It's called Mpesa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa

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Anonymous Coward

Phishing season...

.. is hereby declared open.

"Dear Mr Gullible

You have been sent an instant payment to your mobile phone. Please reply tio this message with your bank account number, debit card number, PIN and security code ....."

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Bronze badge

Wrong numbers

I can only see positive aspects of this going to the wrong number from a receiving point of view.

"I sent you £10 for the party."

"Who is this?"

"Oh sorry, wrong number. Can you send that money back?"

*no reply*

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Coat

Re: Wrong numbers

Yes, the system failed in China for that exact reason.

Mines the one with the ancient book of dubious jokes in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong numbers

This does however provide an incentive to register online to recieve payments but never download the app OR even have a Barclays account.

I wonder how many number you can register to an account...

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FAIL

Its broke already

I signed up to it early to start having a dig into how it works, installed the app on android and rather shockingly got a message stating.....

"We have detected that your phone has root access, so for security reasons you cant use Pingit"

Hmm, obviously root access must give you access to some stuff Barclays dont want you to see.

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Re: Its broke already

More likely the root access would give access to your accounts for the hackers and it likely to open up hole with in the system. It the same with Google Checkout, which Google warns people not to run on rooted devices.

It seem mobile payments are only for people who do not root their phones, at least for now.

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What if I lose my phone

If I lose my phone on a bus, does that mean that anyone who finds it can ping £300 to their phone number straight away?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What if I lose my phone

Yes they could. Just a tiny bit traceable though. Though it could be used to send a payment to a third party I suppose in the event the the finders wanted to set the third party up for the crime. Then againI would imagine that the app is PASSWORD protected.

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Anonymous Coward

"The bank reckons PingIt is ideal for friends and family wanting to transfer a tenner or two between them"

A free service for those not lucky enough to own a supported device is also being developed. Dubbed "the envelope" this paper based transfer technology is ideal for transfering small and large amounts of money between people that will probably see each other every fucking day anyway.

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I was OK with it..

..until I got to the bit in the Ts & Cs where they "may" (i.e. 'will') give my details and usage habits to unrelated sections of Barclays, Barclays' partners, Barclays' partner's dog, etc with no opt out. You can opt out of Barclays marketing messages, but not the selling-on of info. I think not.

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Anonymous Coward

"Transfers should take about 30 seconds"

Wow, they can do that with phone numbers?

Then why, I ask, does it take several days just to move money between two accounts at the same branch when you do it online?!

Grrrr!

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: "Transfers should take about 30 seconds"

Err, who/where? I can transfer money instantly between my accounts at the same banks. And limits withstanding, within 15 minutes between banks using faster payments.

Suggest you get a better bank..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Transfers should take about 30 seconds"

Err... 2007 called, they want their rant back...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Transfers should take about 30 seconds"

Sounds like you have experience of Barclays online banking system.

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Alert

Question about linking to the bank account

How does to verify that you are the owner of the bank account when you download the app? It's not that hard to find out other people's bank account details (sort code + account number) and their address. Has anyone registered with it yet to say what is to stop me registering this with my mobile number and someone else's address/bank account, then sending £300 a day for as long as I can get away with it to my other phone/account?

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Re: Question about linking to the bank account

They deposit a penny in your account with a reference number which you then have to enter during the signup.

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Re: Question about linking to the bank account

You have to verify using PIN Sentry, ATM on in branch.

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Paris Hilton

Tried it on my phone

Detected my Desire HD was rooted, and told me to get lost as that means my security has been compromised.

Paris, because unlike Barclays, she likes a root. (taken from the Aussie use of the term, natch).

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Silver badge

Re: Tried it on my phone

Confirmed...

I didn't have any interest in this gimmick until you said this, but now I try it I see the same problem.

Lame.

I might have a play about later and see if I can stop it detecting the root.

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Re: Re: Tried it on my phone

According to xda developers which already has a thread about it renaming superuser.apk should do the trick or moving the files out of the bin folder temporarily. I think it only flags it on activation, bit annoying since rooting an android is perfectly legal now.

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Silver badge
Stop

Ominous

It could certainly be a worthwhile technology, if it could be trusted. You'd need a hell of a lot of safeguards though, and given that they're obviously nervous enough to not allow it on rooted phones I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Either they don't understand the risks, or they know there is a specific risk and have released it anyway. Neither option fills me with confidence.

As an aside, how hard would it be for a rooted phone to tell apps it hadn't been rooted?

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Meh

new technology - new risk

Bluejacking/bluecracking, phishing... it will be the same target as paypal was at the beginning before they had an anti-fraud team of 400 people and started implementing (finally!) behaviour based authentication on their transaction system....... this will develop the same way and once it gets there might be a useful alternative payment system.

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FAIL

I tried to register as a non-Barclays customer, but the 1p payment into my account doesn't have any reference on it...at least I'm 1p up! Get in! ;)

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Thumb Up

1st Payment

Done - sent a payment to the wife to test it. Quick and easy and saves me having to log in to give her dosh.

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