Card transactions by proxy

Peter Mitchell otcbn at
Tue Apr 5 15:36:17 BST 2011

Ian Batten wrote  on 5-04-11 14:53:
> Well, if you think that (for payments of a few hundred pounds or less) 
> there's any greater policing of cheques or standing orders, I've got a 
> bridge to sell you.  

Cheques or SOs cannot be set up without your signature or a 
similar means of authorisation. If they are, you can 
repudiate them relatively easily, although - as with all 
frauds - the accountholder will suffer inconvenience until 
it is resolved.

> And if your fear is that DDs can be set up by 
> anyone without checking, the saloon bar "oh, DDs are dangerous, that's 
> why I don't have any" won't help you --- unless you can convince your 
> bank to tag your account "no DDs to be set up", which I suspect that 
> this side of Coutt's you can't.

That's quite true, although I'm not sure why you're putting 
it forward as an argument in favour of DDs. It seems to me 
to be a highly persuasive argument against them.

And it's interesting to speculate _why_ it's true. It must 
be technically very easy for a bank to flag an account as 
"DDs not allowed", just as they can flag one as "Overdraft 
not allowed". But, as you say, they won't.

I expect it's a conspiracy. Elvis told them not to.

The same applies to Internet banking. As a habitual tinfoil 
hat wearer, I always told my bank that I did not want 
Internet banking set up on my current account. Then, two 
years ago, somebody else did it for me and nicked six 
thousand pounds out of my account.

Nowadays I do tend to set up Internet access to my accounts. 
Not because I want to use it, but because I suppose if it's 
going to be done anyway I might as well be the one to do it.

>> Which can be inconvenient, embarrassing or could even be job 
>> threatening.  
> Failing to pay your phone bill can be equally bad.  We shifted all our 
> utilities and suchlike onto DDs when my wife was ill during her first 
> pregnancy: it meant that if we had to suddenly drop everything and 
> decamp to hospital for a month, we wouldn't have our utilities cut off 
> for non-payment.   I've noticed a strong correlation between "DDs are 
> evil and I don't have any because I pay all my bills over the counter 
> with cheques" and "man living on own" --- for most people, there's a 
> time/money/risk tradeoff for which DDs are an entirely rational 
> response.    Running my eye down the last payment dates and amounts on 
> the DDs takes a couple of minutes, online, once every few months; paying 
> ~30 regular bills per month by cheque would take rather longer, and be a 
> great deal more error prone.

People like yourself should surely be allowed to use DDs, 
while these sinister-sounding "men living on their own" 
should be allowed not to.

Pete Mitchell

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