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Friday 28 March 2003

Online payments [lurks]

eBay was kind enough to vape my listing for my last FM transmitter. I don't feel a rant about eBay and their insane hypocrisy was entirely worthy of a blog update so I wont dwell on that. Fortunately I shifted that unit to a friend of someone on the UK Gamer mailing list. For a bunch less than I wanted but what can I do eh?
Anyhow, this chap asked how I'd like to be paid. Paypal, Nochex or Fastpay. The first two I've used in the past due to a lot of eBay auctions. Paypal has always been a favorite but since they managed to con me into upgrading my account (purely to withdraw from a credit card), it's now attracting 20p + 3.3% just to receive funds in addition to the withdraw fees. It adds up enough to the point that you really notice the fact you get less money than you ought to have. So it's now expensive enough that I try to avoid it and in the listing (which eBay pulled), I had applied a surcharge to eBay buyers. They're also part of eBay, who are now Evil.
Nochex are cheaper. However they're burnt me in the past by somehow stuffing my password (a point which I'm entirely sure about) and then forcing me to write them a letter along with forms of identification to get them to reset the password (to 'nochexislame' :) so I could get my money. So I've not willingly touched them since. However they are moderately handy for sending money from a credit card, cheaper than Paypal there too. I think I ordered some mod chips via them recently. They have an annoying log-in system which makes you select the last 6 digits on your registered debit card too.
That leaves Fastpay, which I hadn't seen before. I take a look at their webby and alarm bells sound. It's clearly branded as a Natwest service. I should explain, I have a Natwest account - it's the oldest bank account I have. Their online banking was, for the longest time, the most horribly convoluted, slow and unrealiable pile of excrement that you would believe. It's better now, but it still absolutely sucks compared to proper online banks like Cahoot (who are Evil, remember they ripped me off several thousand and sat on it for 6 months before paying it back) and Smile (who are my current bank).
So I didn't have high expectations of Fastpay, particularly since it's virtually impossible to find the fees on their lame goddamn site. The other boys tend to like hiding their fees but this was ridiculous. Anyhow, I signed up and found the fees (eventually). Got an e-mail and an SMS. See it's unique in that Fastpay allows sending dosh by phone, cool eh? Signing up was pretty pain free although they had a couple of small mong points like cocking up the plaintext e-mail and putting incorrect instructions in the SMS text. I told them about it so they can fix it.
Anyhow, why bother with this lot? Well... as far as I can see, the only fee in the entire operation appears to be 20p to send money. Other than that, it's completely free. So I'm giving it a shot to get the cash off this bloke for my FM transmitter, we'll see how it goes I suppose!


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