POLi and no-mans land liability

, posted: 17-Feb-2015 11:35

On one side we have POLi, the payment processor that wraps around your browser as you login to your online banking, and watches as you make a direct credit payment to a merchant.  The benefit to you as a consumer is there is no credit card surcharge payable for the merchant, so they pass this benefit onto you.

On the other side, we have the big banks: Kiwibank, BNZ, ASB, ANZ and Westpac.  Four of the five big boys don’t recommend using POLi.  Uncompetitive practices from the bank? As much as I hate to do it, I’m siding with the banks on this one.

Ever since I became aware of POLi, the concept made me very uncomfortable, but I can see why it’s alluring.

As a merchant, if you want to accept credit cards, you will be hit with a surcharge, no way around it.  Based on volume and risk, I think a fair average would be 2%. If you can offer direct credit to customers, there is no surcharge, so 100% of the money paid is yours. The issue with direct credit is customers are notoriously bad at actually doing it, and/or including the right reference, so reconciliation is a nightmare later on.

POLi fixes this.  It “holds the hand” of the customer, watches as the login to their online banking, forwards them to the right page, puts in the right references, and confirms that they actually make payment.  It’s like you’re sitting next to them, guiding them the whole way through.

I think, any system that has the potential of collecting your online banking credentials is a very bad idea.  I’m not the only one: read what Kiwibank think from an article in yesterday’s Herald:

"In relation to a provider such as POLi, we have concerns with the process they follow to complete their payments.

"Fundamentally, their process is to obtain customer information [access numbers and passwords] and make the payment via their own systems.

"This increases the risk to our clients and to Kiwibank as we are unable to ensure that the customer information has been handled with the appropriate level of security."

The article goes on to quote BNZ saying they would stand behind customers in the event of fraud, however giving your online banking credentials would be a breach of their terms and conditions.

POLi then push it back on the banks saying:

… transactions were processed on banks' systems and therefore it would be a bank's responsibility to reimburse the customer if fraud were to occur.

What happens if POLi is collecting your login details and they have a data breach? It’s through no fault of your own that your accounts are being drained.  Surely you could hit POLi up about it?

"Our [POLi’s] terms and conditions clearly state that we do not provide consumer protection"

If your credentials were compromised you are potentially looking at being stuck in no-mans land.  Your bank says “not our fault, you gave out your banking username/password, read our T&Cs”. POLi then point the finger at the banks as they haven’t done their job properly.

My suggestion: pay with credit card, and take the surcharge on the chin. It’s well worth the protections it gives you, plus you are staying well within your banks T&Cs. Win, win.



CafeOwner.co.nz

, posted: 6-Jan-2015 18:03

For a few months now, I’ve thought about blogging what it’s like to be a cafe owner.  As Kiwis, we spend a lot of time in cafes, but don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes.

I’m hoping to post regularly to this new blog about what’s involved in running a cafe.  I’ll still keep blogging here, but will keep the cafe related stuff to my new blog.

Click to read my first post - Why do I pay more for soy?



linux.conf.au is coming to Auckland

, posted: 15-Dec-2014 23:43

logo For the first time ever, linux.conf.au is being held in Auckland, from the 12th-16th of January 2015.

linux.conf.au is an international conference run by the community, for the community. It is one of the foremost technical Open Source conferences anywhere and is renowned as the most prestigious in the Southern Hemisphere. Early indications are that over 600 delegates and 80 speakers will be attending.

In addition to their regular 3-day programme the first 2 days are dedicated to a series of technology-specific mini conferences covering topics as diverse as cloud computing, containers, continuous integration, Open Source hardware, systems administration, documentation, astronomy and multimedia.

If you or your business wants to learn more about, or is affected by, emerging technologies then attending linux.conf.au 2015 needs to be at the top of your to do list.

Registrations are now open (only 28 days left!) and the full conference programme can be found on their website.



Buying new vs second hand vehicles

, posted: 6-Nov-2014 17:50

The most common misconception we hear from second-hand vehicle buyers before they work with us is:

“New cars cost too much - I can’t afford a new car.”

Smart car buyers consider three criteria as a minimum:

  1. Fitness for purpose: that is, the vehicle class and specification that most closely matches the intended use of the vehicle so you only pay for what you need.
  2. Safety features: The presence of critical safety technologies like electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, cruise control and audible reversing sensors that reduce your risk of collision and injury.
  3. Lifecycle costs: All of the cost inputs of the vehicle over the expected term of ownership, including the purchase price, all running costs, the residual value of the vehicle at the end of the term and those tax deductible expenses, being depreciation and finance interest payments. If we compare the lifecycle costs of two of New Zealand’s most commonly purchased vehicles - new, or at five years old - it is only around $100 more per month to drive a new vehicle.

image1(click image to view full info PDF)

So why is buying a new vehicle more affordable than you think?

One of the biggest contributors to the lifecycle costs of a vehicle is the resale value you achieve at time of sale. As economic confidence increases, so does demand for new and used vehicles, which means residual values for quality New Zealand-new vehicles are strong. Naturally, the higher resale value you realise, the lower your true depreciation costs will be. Selling your vehicle in the summer months when vehicle demand is typically higher, according to vehicle disposals experts Turners Auctions, can improve your position even further.

Vehicle purchase discounts also have a large part to play in lifecycle costs. When buying used vehicles you’ll typically pay market value, but when buying new vehicles as a GST registered business, you qualify for discounted rates. These discounts will be higher based on the number of vehicles in your business or the ‘prestige’ of your brand. To achieve higher purchase discounts, and therefore lower lifecycle costs in relation to used vehicles, consider aggregating your vehicle purchases with industry peers.

Vehicle running costs are higher in used vehicles for a number of reasons. New rules introduced from July 1 2014 mean that new vehicles won’t require a WOF inspection until their third registration anniversary, while annual WOF inspections are required for vehicles three years and older. Manufacturers are investing heavily in R&D to improve fuel-efficiency and new vehicles are beginning to utilise highly pressurised fuel injection technology, reduced cc ratings with increased power through turbo chargers and super chargers, electronic valve control for fuel and exhaust, engine start/stop technology to reduce idle time, and electronic tyre pressure sensing devices (which measure wheel rotation speeds to detect flat tyres). All of these features are contributing to consistent improvements in fuel economy ratings over time and lower fuel costs as a result. Vehicles have a higher risk of failure with increasing kilometres and while extended warranties and scheduled servicing will mitigate the majority of this risk, owners of aging vehicles are at greater risk of vehicle downtime and unexpected costs. Everyone has an anecdotal example of how their ‘best friend’s cousin’ purchased a five year old vehicle, ran it for ten years and spent nothing on it, but when we analyse data across a large sample of vehicles, several hundred per model, the average running costs per annum are substantially higher for ageing vehicles – particularly when they are out of warranty.

(click image to view full info PDF)

Buying a new vehicle over a used model is the smartest choice in most cases from both a risk management and value perspective. Buying new vehicles:

  • Reduces lifecycle costs.
  • Reduces R&M cost risk.
  • Reduces your carbon footprint.
  • Reduces WOF administration costs.
  • Allows you to take advantage of safety innovations like electronic stability control, cruise control and antilock braking systems that lower your risk of collision and serious injury.
  • Assures you progressively higher standard specs which now generally include Bluetooth, navigation and improved driver interface, ergonomics and drag co-efficiency.
  • Gives your customers a better perception of your company brand.
  • Results in higher employee satisfaction.

If you’re interested to discuss this further, please contact us.

 

Disclaimer: I have a vested interest in Optifleet.



Geekzone timelapse

, posted: 15-Sep-2014 00:40

We hosted the latest Geekzone IRL at Tuihana Cafe, and I setup a webcam to catch the action in a timelapse:



Since I organised this all very last minute, the setup was very basic but I think it worked really well:
Video was taken from 5pm until 9:30pm, with one photo taken every 5 seconds.  Total number of photos was around 3,200.

We also had a photographer at the event, his photos are here.

Enjoy!



nate's profile

 


I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, own Tuihana Cafe, run the gardening.co.nz forums and a moderator here at Geekzone.

Use Autotask and Xero? Sync data between them with My Accounting Toolbox.

 

Disclaimer
The views and opinions represented on this blog are personal and belong solely to the blogger and do not represent in anyway those of 3Bit Solutions Limited or any other company.

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