Business: Credit Card: Security
One time account code   (0)  [vote for, against]
'Bums. I have been hacked' is an exclamation increasingly heard across the the nation. 'My identity stolen, who gives a fig, but my bank account raped.. boo-hoo'.

Bank current accounts have been around aaaaaah possibly a good long time at least. The way they work is that you create an account with the bank, a concept I dimly understand according to a process I have personally followed albeit about 43 years ago. Towards the end of this process one is awarded a bank account number unique to oneself and something called a 'sort code'.

When you pay a bill you can write the account number, sort code amount and the name of the person being paid on a piece of paper or some such together with an instruction to transfer funds. You sign it, and hand it over. Although the process has been initiated the money itself hasn't gone yet at that particular point in time. The piece of paper then gets given in to the persons bank, Their bank looks up the sort code which defines the bank branch you bank with and they send the piece of paper together with a letter they have written asking whether to release this amount is satisfactory to that particular branch building within your bank. The banks teller carefully reads the letter then pulls down the dusty book with your account it from a shelf, checks your signature on the piece of paper, which is called a 'cheque', by the way in the UK at least, matches the copy of the signature they have retained in it, then only if it does match yours and you haven't told the bank to stop the cheque subtracts the amount from your balance. The bank then returns a letter saying that yes, you had the money to the person you are paying's bank The money has now left you. The payee then has a similar amount added to his account. All is good, the system is entirely bomb proof due to the rigorous signature checking routine and the efficient carrier pigeon system.

Can you tell that I don't really understand the banking system? But something like this must be happening or the system would unravel in complete chaos and money would not exist. The alternative is cash, but to get cash from the bank requires you to take a cheque in person in to your local branch. This can tie your under-butler up for ages can't it Max? The cash is also filthy, covered in unhygienic person's germs, snot, cocaine and other unmentionable deposits which may contaminate one's butler. There are other disadvantages of cash which I won't go in to here for fear of making this simple explanation over-complicated for the purposes of this discussion and to avoid the risk of sounding a little bit patronising.

Right well now we have the internet, powered by something called a black magic engine which I would explain but the dog needs to be walked soon. I want to buy a1/50th scale replica of the Apollo 12 command module containing little models of Pete Conrad, Richard F. Gordon Jr., and Alan Bean. Using go-oggle the internet reveals that a supplier in Columbia called 'Small Mart' sells them for 19.99, and the postage is free. I can scarcely contain my special juices. But they don't take PayPal.

I send them my bank account number and sort code electronically, a speeded up way of doing things still using the same principles but crucially without the signature, and the rest is tragic history.

Well, the better way would be for the bank to issue a one-time bank account number which identifies my bank account but also has a unique identifier scrambled up into the numbe, used once only.

I really want my command module so bad it hurts and I am filthy, stinking rich and have terminal corrosion of the gizzards so my days are numbered. I would be willing to pay oh, I don't know, an additional five groats for the transaction cost and convenience of internet shopping. Or change my bank account from Borelys to AntanDare the only bank who offers this wonderful ah offer.

-- bhumphrys, Aug 31 2019

Nice, an electronic check. The usual process is the account holder controls/ makes the transfer. Not many people will hand over their wallet so seller can take out the dollar.
-- wjt, Aug 31 2019

Ah right [wjt] I sort of get what you are saying thanks for the explanation. Maybe this would be more relevant for person-to-person transactions then.
-- bhumphrys, Aug 31 2019

There exist very useful financial instruments known as "prepaid debit cards". These are usually supplied with an account number and sort code in addition to the usual Visa/Mastercard identification.

Money can be transferred electronically from your "real" bank account, or better you can load cash onto it at various high-street establishments. Thus the only funds available are those that you have placed there for a specific purpose.

It's trivially easy to obtain numerous cards in different names, so you're not even personally identifiable. Using different cards in rotation for transactions is an efficient way of concealing your identity, and has the additional benefit of looking suspicious to government, allowing you to waste a lot of their time and effort while remaining entirely within the law.

Thus it appears that the facility you desire is Baked.

Oh, and could you post a link to the vendor offering the Command Module model ?
-- 8th of 7, Aug 31 2019

There are also services (which I think may come with some bank accounts or credit cards?) that generate a new one-time credit card number for each transaction you want to do.

// Can you tell that I don't really understand the banking system? //

I don't either. What is a bank account even made of,? information managed by computers, right,? so why is it that the concept of physical location applies to a bank account,? even though, in the same year, it doesn't apply meaningfully to my halfbakery account, Google account, etc.

I also just don't understand the entire concept of "financial products"…

Despite not meaningfully using them myself, I understand cryptocurrencies a bit better, though still not really well. I feel like that feeling of understanding may be another aspect driving people to use them over conventional banking, if understanding cryptocurrencies at a satisfactory level is more common than understanding conventional banking at a similar level, among certain demographics.
-- notexactly, Sep 01 2019

[8th] don't trouble yourself just send me a prepaid debit card & I'll arrange a delivery of the CM .
-- bhumphrys, Sep 01 2019

As notexactly mentioned, some banks already offer this. For example, Bank of America just announced that they are discontinuing ShopSafe. Such cards have custom expiration time, custom limits, and, if not single-use cards, can generally only be charged by one merchant. The custom cards connect to your existing card account.

For checks, the normal solution to this problem is to use "Positive Pay." Positive pay works by requiring businesses (consumers are generally not offered Positive Pay) to upload each check they send out (i.e., payee name, check number, check amount). If someone tries to cash a check that is not on this list, (or tries to cash the same check twice), the bank calls the business up and asks if the check is valid. Note that unless the check is invalid, this process is invisible to the person cashing such checks, since all the payee is told is, "this check hasn't cleared yet."
-- aguydude, Sep 07 2019

// just send me a prepaid debit card //

On [MB]'s advice, it's going to be simpler and easier if we just send you our Amex card. All the account details including passwords, PIN, etc. are written on the back of the envelope it's in.

He assures us you're completely trustworthy, so thst's fine. He's promised to put it in the post to you any day now ... let us know when it turns up.
-- 8th of 7, Sep 07 2019

-- Voice, Sep 08 2019

[8th] the motorcycle courier arrived today thank you (pl.) very much, very stylish envelope too and such lovely perfume.

I have not looked at the passwords or PIN myself so they are safe from prying eyes. I have forwarded them to Columbia but don't worry I used 'signed for' delivery.
-- bhumphrys, Sep 09 2019

[b] on NO ACCOUNT sniff that "perfume". Also, do not leave the envelope on a varnished or painted surface.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 11 2019

Now you tell me. The vomiting and hallucinations have almost stopped now. The cat is not looking all that good, though.
-- bhumphrys, Sep 11 2019

random, halfbakery