“anonymous” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by valiscariot
Cash, as the tech heads confidently proclaim, is dead. Thanks to innovations in online payment technology, paying with anything other than cold hard cash is now easier than ever. Tap-and-pay technology has made is possible to head to the grocery store, roll through the checkout and touch your mobile (i.e. using Apple Pay) or contactless card. Beyond these innovations, online staples such as PayPal and Neteller mean you can pay for virtually anything without even drawing money from your bank account.
However, as impressive the latest payment technology is, it’s not immune to the ravages of the Internet. Like all online platforms and processes, hackers have taken a shine to this technology over the last decade and that’s often caused some problems for consumers. For example, back in October 2016, a coordinated DDoS attack took down Dyn. The server, which essentially acts as a switchboard for Internet traffic, suffered a massive disruption which, in turn, stopped people from accessing sites like Twitter, Spotify and, significantly PayPal.
Unsurprisingly, when a team of hackers can compromise the stability or the integrity of a well-established payment processor like PayPal, it raises concerns across the Internet. Now, that’s not to say eWallets are unsafe, but in the spirit of sticking it to the cybercriminals, there are some alternative ways to pay that may not be as vulnerable. Although it’s never possible to say something is 100% safe, there are alternative payment options out there that have the power to protect you.
Keep Your Identity Safe and Pay with your Phone Bill
“BlackBerry Storm Smartphone” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by liewcf
Championed by the iGaming industry where making deposits can sometimes be tricky, pay by phone bill is a great way to make a purchase without inputting your personal details at all. For example, if a mobile casino player wants to try a game like mFortune’s Mucho Money slot game, they can do it by paying via their phone. Being a mobile-dominant gaming platform, mFortune’s casino games software can be played on 99% of all mobile devices.
Offering this sort of diversity is great, but not all players will want to use their debit card details on all devices. To counter this, the operator allows you to make a deposit using your phone bill. In short, you log in to your account, select the “pay by bill” option and this charges you network bill. Once the payment is confirmed, mFortune will credit your account and that’s it, you’ve made a deposit without sharing any personal details.
Bitcoin Payments Make Transactions Anonymous
“Best money closer to the top.” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by zcopley
In a similar way to pay by phone bill, Bitcoin has allowed online consumers to make payments without exchanging personal information. Thanks to the dynamics of a bitcoin transaction, people don’t have to input any personal information to complete a payment. When you pay for something online, you typically have to give the host site your bank card details, your name and your address. Naturally, if that site is ever compromised, these details can be stolen by a hacker and used maliciously.
In contrast, when you make a bitcoin payment, the only piece of information you need to provide is your bitcoin wallet ID. Each member of the system, whether it’s an individual user or a business, is only identified by a unique chain of letters and numbers. Now, if someone had access to your bitcoin wallet (and therefore ID), there’s a chance your account could be compromised. However, in terms of the transaction itself, there are no personal details required.
So, if you were logged into Microsoft’s Xbox Live and wanted to make a purchase, you could use your bitcoin ID, get your credits and never worry about someone getting hold of your details. Essentially, as technology moves forward and hackers continue to attack us, we as consumers need to find ways to make payments without giving up our identities. Pay by phone bill and bitcoin are two of the latest methods to make this possible. Naturally, as we innovate and improve, other methods will enter the mix. For now, however, if you’re looking for a secure alternative payment method, there’s a lot of value in the tech we’ve highlighted in this article.