I'm sure it's okay really, and that it's just my lack of knowledge about the detail, but a conversation the other day meant I couldn't help wondering about the level of security we get with card readers, and there seems to be such a proliferation of them
A friend of mine is now the 'proud' owner of four of the devices, sent to him by a number of different financial institutions with which he has dealings (and of course manage in part over the Internet).
He hasn't tried it with all of them yet, but he has found that two of them are interchangeable, i.e. to access either of the accounts, he can use the card from either institution with either of the devices, and they still provide the right code for each
(if you follow my drift). This is the bit that worried me, as I'd have thought that there would have been different routines in each device and bank and therefore you couldn't successfully mix the device from one bank with the card from another. I've even
heard rumours that you can buy these devices - unbranded - in certain outlets and they also work perfectly well with bank cards.
Well, I discovered that this isn't a problem because of the standards they use. Whilst some of the explanation is beyond me personally, not being technical, I believe I now know enough to allay my fears - at least as much as they can be when it comes to
matters cards and internet.
It does strike me though that, if they are meant to be interchangeable, why don't the banks club together and send out one reader to each household, or tell us where to buy one, rather than each one double (or in my friend's case, quadruple) up the cost...?
At least my friend shouldn't have a problem accessing his accounts when one device fails and he is waiting for a replacement.