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Old 07.09.2015, 10:14
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Sofort online payments

I've just come across Sofort as an online payment method and politely declined.

I was registering for a footrace in Geneva in a few weeks and picked the "online bank transfer" in order to pay. This punted me off to the Sofort website, which required my *bank login details* to take the payment out of my account. Apparently it's all above board and is a system that's widely used in the German speaking countries without any problems. Anyone else come across this? I couldn't find any other reference to it here. It sounds totally nuts to me.
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Old 07.09.2015, 10:17
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Re: Sofort online payments

I've used it before with my Halifax (UK) account and it works well enough. If I recall there was a two step verification process where I got an automated call from the bank, got a code and then entered that into the SOFORT site. Pretty painless and the money was taken instantly.
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Old 07.09.2015, 10:55
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Re: Sofort online payments

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I've used it before with my Halifax (UK) account and it works well enough. If I recall there was a two step verification process where I got an automated call from the bank, got a code and then entered that into the SOFORT site. Pretty painless and the money was taken instantly.
Did it ask for your username and password though? It wanted mine to work with my BCGE account.

http://www.halifax.co.uk/aboutonline/online-conditions/

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You must not write down, store (whether encrypted or otherwise) on your computer or mobile phone handset or let anyone else know your password, identity details or additional security details, and the fact that they are for use with your accounts.

Last edited by hairybadger; 07.09.2015 at 11:05.
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Old 07.09.2015, 11:06
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Re: Sofort online payments

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Did it ask for your username and password though? It wanted mine to work with my BGCE account.
It did ask for those details, and although it probably contradicts the Halifax T&Cs I guess you could question how secure their site is, or the browser you're using etc..

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How secure is SOFORT Banking and how reputable is it?

In all matters concerning money, security must have the highest priority. That's why we designed SOFORT Banking as one of the safest online payment systems. With SOFORT Banking you use the classic online banking procedure. In particular, the confirmation code offers a high degree of protection from misuse, because it can be used only once and then immediately becomes invalid. Entry of your online banking login details and the relevant confirmation code occurs exclusively in the secure payment form of SOFORT GmbH and not on the merchant's website. This ensures that the merchant does not gain access to sensitive information (such as confidential login details and confirmation code). The transfer of data occurs only via connections secured with up to AES 256 bits. SOFORT GmbH itself does not store any sensitive information like confidential login details and confirmation code, but carries out the transaction solely as a technical service provider. The confidential online banking details and confirmation code are never visible to third parties or the employees of SOFORT GmbH. To ensure the security of your information at all times, we rely not only on our own expertise. TÜV Saarland regularly tests and certifies our procedures.
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Old 07.09.2015, 11:34
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Re: Sofort online payments

Stay away from it. Usage is most likely, certainly, 100% surely, against your banks terms & condition.

How anyone in his right mind would give e-banking details to a 3rd party is beyond belief. Surprisingly, in Germany SOFORT , is used widely. It is a surprise as Germans are normally very aware and sensitive about data protection issues.

Be aware, as soon as you give the login details to SOFORT they can see all your accounts balances and transaction histories! Once again, who in his right mind would do that?

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TÜV Saarland regularly tests and certifies our procedures.
The various TÜV organization are notoriously known to give their opinion and certificates on topics they have zero expertise and knowledge. I do not trust them on anything non-mechanical.
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Old 07.09.2015, 12:27
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Re: Sofort online payments

I have a very strange feeling about these payments as well.

After all you voluntarily give your login credentials to a third party.

I have a theory, but haven't seen it proven: Nowadays, most banks give some sort of online-safety-guarantee*.

Under * they tell you... "unless you are careless, for example giving login credentials to a third party."

Any "Sofort" payment on your account proves that you did exactly that.

So I have a feeling banks love it if you use this, as it gets them out of their guarantee. Of course you'd only find out if the worst comes to the worst...

Once I had above idea I called my bank, asking if the guarantee still applies even though I recently used a SOFORT-payment. The guy replied some Marketing-Mumbo-Jumbo around "would have to be determined on a case-by-case analysis"...

So I insisted on having my online-access blocked immediately and given new login credentials.

Since then I personally won't ever touch it again.
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Old 11.09.2015, 19:54
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Re: Sofort online payments

Who still uses a bank account without a token device/one time password/challenge response device?

Some SMS to your phone/phone app solutions have been already successfully broken into.
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Old 13.09.2017, 18:06
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Re: Sofort online payments

Sorry to revive such an old thread.
I made a payment using Sofort (or rather I tried to do so) in an on-line shop for some medical supplies. The Sofort website transaction failed after I had entered all the necessary information, so it wasn't clear if anything had happened.
I managed to contact Sofort, though as is usual these days, they don't have an e-mail address and they confirmed that no transaction had occurred. I did however receive the goods that had been ordered.
Fast-forward two-months and today I receive a threatening "Mahnung" with the menacing tone of recovery shark companies and threats of Betreibung. I will pay the bill, as the money is due, but I've written to the company saying the tone of their letter is totally unacceptable, particular as the fault was with their web platform.
I've made it clear I will never have anything to do with them in the future as the threats and harassement were totally unnecessary.
As far as security is concerned, they only got my bank userid, the rest of the authentication took place over my phone using the BCV SmartID app. There's nothing they can do with my userid, so as long as you're using a two-step authenticating process, using a second device, there really shouldn't be any risk.
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