Talking tech since 2003

Simple, a mostly-digital banking solution for smartphone-sporting folks, is launching a new app feature that will allow users to transfer funds with others via Bluetooth. While the idea of transferring your hard-earned income via such an archaic and widely insecure system is largely terrifying at first, it’s actually not handled in as poor a way as you might imagine.

It’s called MoneyDrop, and it’s designed to facilitate funds between you and other local Simple users quickly, safely, and securely.

MoneyDrop uses Bluetooth Low Energy to detect other Simple users in your immediate area, and displays them on your smartphone with a recognizable profile photo. From there, you can tap on the individual whom you’d like to send money to, enter in the amount owed, and confirm your choice. The recipient of the funds receives a pop-up confirmation screen, wherein Simple will transfer the money online without any more effort on your part.

But given Bluetooth’s widely known security flaws and largely hackable openings, Simple seems to be tackling the systematic transfer of your all-important dough quite wisely. Instead of sending all of your necessary information via Bluetooth, Simple minimizes its use of the airwaves by only sending a randomized ID that’s assigned individually to you and the recipient each time a transaction begins. That way, only random IDs are sent from person to person, not sensitive banking data.

Image Courtesy of TechCrunch.

Simple then confirms the device-to-device handshake, and checks its backend database to ensure that your newly randomized IDs match those generated for your Simple account, which has its own permanent ID (which is never shared over Bluetooth). Once that’s confirmed, the money is transacted online, not via Bluetooth, therein shutting down the folks who hoped to Bluetooth sniper rifle their way to a pocketful of your cash.

The MoneyDrop feature is slated to land on the iOS app first, but will only work on the iPhone 4S and newer, since previous models don’t have a Bluetooth antenna built-in. The Android version is also being built, and should land “not too long after” the iOS release.

If you’d simply like to know more about Simple and their take on digital banking, you can do so here.

[Source: TechCrunch]


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