Feeds

Orange becomes more like bank: launches overdraft facility

Pay £1 to get £2.50 into debt

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Mobile phone customers signing up to Orange's new Speakeasy pre-pay tariff can get themselves £2.50 worth of overdraft facility to keep them connected when their credit runs out, though they'll have to pay £1 to sign up for it.

The overdraft facility, branded "Reserve Tank", is part of the new tariff which also includes three "Magic Numbers" that are only charged at 15p an hour, and a flat 15p a minute rate for calling anyone else.

Pre-pay systems already put the mobile phone operators in danger of becoming banks. It's OK in principle for a company to take pre-payment for one product - phone calls or books, for example. But mobile phone credit is used for all sorts of things including buying ringtones and games, downloading music, and entering dodgy TV quizzes.

This makes the mobile phone companies look suspiciously like banks - they store your money for you and allow convenient access to buy things. The only thing they don't do is pay interest.

If the mobile networks became banks they'd have to sign up to the banking code of practice and open their accounts to a lot more scrutiny. The UK's financial services regulator has been very cautious about imposing more regulation on such a dynamic industry. But if companies are offering overdrafts, this will draw attention to the fact that they are operating as banks in all but name.

Perhaps if they were banks they could start paying interest. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.