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back to article Hey Britain, want to link your mobile to your BANK ACCOUNT?

VocaLink, not content with processing 90 per cent of UK salaries and almost all of the DWP's benefits payments, has launched a payments platform to turn mobile phone numbers into bank account keys. The company's Zapp system is targeted at merchants who want to take payments without having to muck about with cards, and banks who …

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Great!

We're finally catching up with Africa.

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Re: Great! & catching up with Africa

don't lose heart, also catching up with Poland, and Estonia, so EU's not THAT behind :D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: so EU's not THAT behind

Which behind is it?

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if this is going to be a bright new future of mobile numbers being used for everything, then the mobile firms really need to sort out porting. Its still possible to lose your number.....

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The main benefit to using a Credit Card online is that it affords a certain amount of fraud protection (and significant additional protections for purchases of over £100 under the consumer credit act).

Presumably this service will be analogous to using a Debit Card (which isn't necessarily a problem, but I'm not sure I'd use one online).

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The consumer credit act is an odd one - I think (although willing to be corrected) that if you use your debit card 'and you are in your overdraft' that you are also covered...

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I'd never thought about it before, but that must be right, as the Act covers credit in general, not credit cards specifically.

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You've hit the nail on the head

I've stopped using my debit card everywhere. I pay off my credit card each month. Meaning that I get interest on the lump sum in my bank. I get cash back (0.5%) on my credit card purchases and protection on my purchases over £100. This is all value to me which a debit card or mobile payment methods do not add.

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Technically thats true because the overdraft is credit offered to you by the bank and in both cases you are paying with the creditors money, not yours.

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g e
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Go

Re: You've hit the nail on the head

@Nextweek - I hadn't even thought of that...

That chunk in the bank will help towards offset mortgage, too... cunning. Will be looking into that and doing some maths.

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Re: You've hit the nail on the head

Out of interest, which card do you use?

(I do the same, but just with the default credit card from my bank.)

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Re: You've hit the nail on the head

@Nextweek

Good plan but don't forget debit cards have charge back as do credit cards regardless of the amount spent

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/jan/20/section-75-chargeback

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H 4

Visa Debit protection

All Visa-branded cards offer protection in the case of fraud, non-receipt of goods/service, faulty goods etc.

Visa debit cards carry similar rights of chargeback to credit cards and it is not limited to transaction over £100.

http://www.visa.co.uk/en/money_management/choose_how_to_pay/making_the_most_of_your_debit.aspx

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Mushroom

Let me fix that

"Linking a current account to a mobile phone number .............. is a worthy idea" if you are a criminal and the bank account in question belongs to someone else.

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Re: Let me fix that

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. At the moment, my financial transactions require numbers that I don't give out to many people (card numbers, bank account details). How is turning my mobile phone number, which many, many people have, in any way more secure (or secure at all). This seems to remove significant amounts of depth from the security in favour of traders making more money from my transactions. The number of tight businesses that charge more for card transactions is annoying already (and they only get my business a maximum of once, depending on what is being sold), and more will start to do it if this becomes available. However, the difference is I'll probably pay for the extra security offered by the card payments.

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Unhappy

And the first

thing to happen is the merchant saves the mobile number so he can spam it for all hes worth (or more usually, pay someone else to spam it) followed by the malware bunch who invent key loggers attached to popular 'angry cat clan' games that look out for messages from popular retailers and then record the following key presses

Ahhh the joys of technology

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jai
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but what if it meant Visa and pals didn't get paid...

Did i miss the bit in the article where it answered the question in the sub-heading?

What _does_ it is mean if all our internet payments avoid Visa and Mastercard? Does the price of the items we purchase go down because the merchants aren't incurring the visa/mc charge? Or does the cost go up for all the real-world purchases that do go on the plastic because they have to increase their charges to cover the lost income?

Or does El Reg not have a clue and put that question in the sub-heading on false pretences?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: but what if it meant Visa and pals didn't get paid...

Or do I not get the 1% cut via my cashback credit card?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: but what if it meant Visa and pals didn't get paid...

That depends on whether the replacement is also bound to obey the US government, i.e. share details of your transactions on request, refuse payments to proscribed (formally or informally) organisations, etc

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Re: but what if it meant Visa and pals didn't get paid...

Just means the percentage goes to somebody else.

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One minor thing I want to point out:

The battery never goes flat on my bank card.

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Unhappy

The days of Sort Codes and Numbers

The days of sort codes and account numbers are already ending

Can someone shed any light on this claim?

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Re: The days of Sort Codes and Numbers

There are (either UK or Europe-wide, I forget) proposals to make your bank account number portable between different banks, just like mobile phone numbers are already. This theoretically means that the 101 different people you have to tell if you move your current account (well, payroll and Direct Debits anyway) don't need to know.

And given that sort codes are currently bank and branch specific, they would cease to have that meaning.

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Paris Hilton

Re: The days of Sort Codes and Numbers

"The days of sort codes and account numbers are already ending"

I am confused, I need both to sign up for a contract phone, how can mobiles replace them????!!!!

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Unhappy

Re: The days of Sort Codes and Numbers

Your account already has an IBAN (22 letters and numbers) and a Swift (11 letters and numbers)

Plus there's your debit card number.

Now it will also have a mobile number, plus the account number of the mobile payment service,

Progress????

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The big advantage of credit card payment for the user is the legal protection offered to credit transactions. What will Zapp offer in its place?

The problem with direct payments between bank accounts is when something goes wrong. If goods are not delivered etc. then it can be difficult or impossible to get redress. I have lost out when I made a payment (several hundred pounds) to an account. The sellers employee had substituted the account number (but not the sort code). The receiving bank (Barclays) simply refused to investigate, or supply details of the recipient, and I could get no redress. The police, and ombudsman were just not interested.

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FAIL

So when Virgin accidentally ported my phone number to someone else for 3 weeks

does that mean they could also have given all my money to them as well?

It's OK though, because after spending hours and hours on the phone, they eventually got my number back... and credited £30 compensation TO THE WRONG number!

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Go

Advantages and disadvantages and who you're trying to pay...

Envisage a bunch of guys or girls going out for a meal. The bill comes to £26 (including tip) a head and everybody chucks in either £30 or £40 and nobody will admit they expect change. Plus you've all had to make that trip to the ATM beforehand, and you're going to need to go again as you haven't got enough for a round in the pub next door now that everyone's agreed with their better half they're staying out late.

Now image one person pays on their bank card, and all their mates pay them the right amount directly by their known, used and trusted phone number.

Zapp may be aimed at merchants in this iteration, but the scope for trusted or semi-trusted payments is very wide indeed. Who do you pay on a regular basis in cash? Window cleaner, milkman, car wash? Small value semi-trusted payments.

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Meh

Optional PIN Authentication?

Can't believe PIN Authentication would be optional. That takes it from 2 factor to 1 factor; something you have.

If the punter turns this off and then loses his phone, whoever finds it can use the Zapp app to make free purchases.

Will there be additional authentication checks equivalent to Verified by Visa and whatever the M'card equivalent is?

How will PIN security be managed?

Devil's in the detail which that Zapp site seems a little light on.

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FAIL

Re: Optional PIN Authentication?

Can't believe it took nearly 2 hours before someone pointed this out. So I lose my phone and some dodgy type finds it and goes to buy something. The phone number is submitted in payment automatically as per the article, and the system sends a message back to the phone via the app - this is acceptable security?

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Re: Optional PIN Authentication?

Dunno about you, but most people I know with a smartphone (which is surely essential to this) also have a pin on their phone. So, that's 3 levels of authentication, down to 2 when you lose your phone :)

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Anonymous Coward

"Linking a current account to a mobile phone number" - what could possibly go wrong?

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Stop

"Zapp also, critically, comes from a company already trusted by the significant players in the value chain.

Why is this a "value chain", exactly? Simply using "the significant players in the chain" would somehow fail to adequately describe the arrangement, would it?

Don't be an asshat - say NO to buzzwords.

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Asshat?

Full marks for sneering at 'value chain', but who but an 'asshat 'would describe business partners as "players"?

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Rob
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Go

Re: Asshat?

Indeed, who would also use the term donkey headgear as well (I refuse to repeat it).

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Re: Asshat?

To answer your question - the original author. "Players" is another one of his buzzwords, from his article (hint, notice the quote marks).

Thanks for trying though, we can see how hard it is for you and appreciate the effort, it's ever so sweet of you.

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Bah!

I can't understand the logic of using your own money when you can use the bank's, especially given the fraud possibilities inherent in the data-as-cash process from the get-go.

The "lad's night out" scenario sort of makes sense, sorta, but in the same situation, if I'm the Johnny Cardholder I'll pay using my credit card and suggest it will be someone else's turn next time. Anyone who baulks under the impression I will order Chateaubriand Steak next time can pay me up front or pay me tomorrow, because I won't see the bill for a month and am not out of pocket.

If the credit card details are lifted by a waiter or manager who then buys a ton of SCUBA gear claiming to be me I won't be out of pocket.

If I lose the card later that night and it makes a trip to Vegas without me I won't be out of pocket assuming I am not too hors de combat to make a phone call.

I guess it's a cultural thing.

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Stop

What does this mean for...

Mobile Phone + Identity theft?

a. Same level of exposure as the current alternative modes of payments (debit, credit etc)?

b. Lesser headaches / a more secure mode and mechanism?

c. Greater risk and perhaps newer types of fraud / ID spoofing?

STOP - as I for one need more info and clarity before this becomes defacto or pervasive enough

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Stop

Nice for the Banks, bad for us.

I deliberately use a credit card for most of my transactions, and usually pay it off in full every month, because I'm loath to leave much float in the bank; I'd rather have the currency working for me rather than the banks, who pay a pittance on the 'deposited currency which they invest (gamble) with!

The idea that the deposited currency sits in the bank is complete nonsense; it is always at risk, because the banks are allowed to operate with a fractional reserve. It is only deposit protection schemes which offer the (limited) illusion of no risk.

If they can operate with fake money, so can I, via a credit card.

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secure?

mobile phone as a malware free platform lol very amusing.

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