Feeds

Orange becomes more like bank: launches overdraft facility

Pay £1 to get £2.50 into debt

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?