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An open letter to Kiwibank

Dear Kiwibank,

My suggestion isn't actually sensitive hence posting it on my blog. This could be a game changer for Kiwibank though.

I want support for requesting payments. I've run into "POLi" before, and it's rubbish - the fact it requires a particular operating system and browser, requires letting untrusted third-party code log into the user's bank account and "take control". Terrible for an untrusting geek like myself who wants to pay for a flight...
I realize POLi isn't the problem, or a Kiwibank product, but it is the current best solution because no bank is willing to lead and create a proper (and secure) solution to real time paying with online banking.

It would be a great benefit to many people, including trademe users, and small businesses who might need to take payments and deposits online. Heres how I imagine it could work:

  1. People wanting paid would be able to go to
  2. set up and email their payment request/invoice 
  3. you provide a secure gateway for the recipient to pay - if they are also your customer it could be a direct bank transfer or they could pay via credit card.

Other various considerations:
  • My main concern with using a system like this would be the trust of the identity of whomever I was paying. A bank given assurance of the receiver's and/or business name would stop phishers.
  • You would ideally provide at least a basic invoice creator page to upload logo's and customize a template. Wouldn't be hard to one up paypal on that front.
  • Once the payment is made you optionally alert the receiving party. Possibilities exist for automated behaviours on receipt.
  • With an api enabling websites to create and embed these requests dynamically you would be the bank of choice in no time.
  • Long term vision would be a worldwide bank-to-bank standard protocol but let's not rock the boat too much. Although Kiwibank leading the charge would  make me very proud.
Your already happy customer,

Brian Thorne

p.s. Why isn't the contact form linked to from your home page using an encrypted connection? If I'm on a public network you've just asked for my customerID and my question could be sensitive...


  1. So I see ASB have added a pretty neat mobile banking app. You can send someone money via a text/email - they visit the link, enter their account number and money gets transferred.

    Kiwibank better catch up!


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