Al Rayan extends registration for new banking app

Al Rayan extends registration for new banking app

Customers given an extra week to register for the new Al Rayan banking app

Brean Horne
Fri, 02/28/2020 – 14:40


Al Rayan Bank is extending the deadline to register for its new online banking app from 4 March 2020 to 13 March 2020.

The challenger bank informed customers that it would be shutting down its online banking service from 26 February 2020.

Customers wishing to continue banking digitally will only be able to do so through the Al Rayan banking app. 

The app requires at least version 12 (iOS) or version 8 (Android) to work.

Al Rayan is a Sharia-compliant bank which offers current accounts and savings accounts.

What happens to existing customers?

Existing customers will need to register for the Al Rayan banking app by 13 March 2020. 

It will be possible to sign up after this date but customers may experience an interrupted service by doing so. 

Existing customers who do not have a compatible smartphone will be able to continue accessing their accounts through a free hard token device via a desktop computer. 

To find out if you are eligible for a hard token device, you’ll need to contact Al Rayan via phone on 0808 301 6320.

Al Rayan will walk eligible customers through the process over the phone and in written communication. 

What happens to new customers?

New customers will not be eligible for a hard token device. 

This means that they will have to have a compatible smartphone to bank digitally. 

Both new and existing customers will be able to manage their accounts in branch, via post or using telephone banking.

What does Al Rayan say?

Al Rayan extended the deadline following feedback from customers about its decision to switch off online banking services. 

A spokesperson from Al Rayan bank says: “Following feedback from our customers, we’ve extended the time to register for the new app or a hard token device until 13th March.

“Customers will still be able to register for the new app any time after 13 March and all of their banking arrangements – including their account number, sort code and any standing orders or Direct Debits they have set up – will remain the same, but they will not be able to view accounts online after 13 March until they have registered for the new app or hard token device. 

“We have also put further measures in place to help customers registering for the new mobile banking service.

This includes increasing our contact centre staff further and introducing a call back facility for customers to request for us to contact them.

We have contacted our customers to update them of this.”


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Coronavirus fears trigger the worst week for global stock markets since 2008 crisis

Coronavirus fears trigger the worst week for global stock markets since 2008 crisis

While the market appears to be in state of panic, smaller retail investors generally appear to have continued to buy

Tom Bailey
Fri, 02/28/2020 – 13:31


Global stock markets have seen their worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis, as fears about the spread of coronavirus strengthen.

Thursday (27 February) saw heavy selling in the US, with all major US indices closing multiple percentage points down. The S&P 500 closed 4.4% down, continuing a six-day losing streak.

That leaves the index around 12% down from its previous high, meaning it is firmly in “correction territory” (defined as a 10% fall from a previous high).

Futures markets, at the time of writing, suggest the US is due for further falls once the market opens.

The UK also continued to suffer large falls. At the time of writing, the FTSE 100 was down over 3.8% on the day, having been down almost 4.5% at one point during the morning’s trading. The blue-chip index has lost more than 10% over the week.

The more domestically focused FTSE 250 also shed 3.8%, meaning it is now down over 13% since the start of the week.

Asian markets also suffered heavy losses, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down almost 3.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index 2.4% and the Shanghai Composite Index 3.7%.

Predictably, investors have rushed to safe-haven assets, such as government bonds. US 10-year bonds are now yielding at just 1.2%. UK 10-year bonds, or gilts, have also rallied, with yields now sitting at just 0.4%. 

The fears are primarily based on the rapid rise of new cases outside China. While the number of cases within China has stabilised, there is now an acceleration of cases globally. Yesterday (27 February) saw global cases rise by 1,359, an increase from the 911 daily average over the previous five days.

Of those 1,359 cases, 433 were within China, suggesting a stabilisation of new cases within China. However, non-China cases rose by 926, suggesting significant acceleration. As Pantheon Macroeconomics notes: “In one line: New cases outside China [are] accelerating rapidly.”


However, while the market appears to be in state of panic, smaller retail investors generally appear to have continued to buy.

As Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg has pointed out, the Vanguard 500 Index fund has taken in more than $1billion over the past couple of days, while Vanguard as a whole took in over $3 billion. He notes: “Even by Vanguard standards that’s some impressive, Navy Seals-level discipline.”

Much of those inflows likely came from those with regular investor plans, which automatically buy at set intervals. However, the past decade has seen the growth of the “buy the dip” mantra. Broadly, this has worked.

Those bravely buying into the market sell-offs of the 2010s, such as the eurozone debt crisis, China’s currency devaluation in 2015/16 or the various falls in 2018, were well rewarded. In each incident, global markets staged a quick and sharp V-shaped recovery.

However, whether markets will see a similar sharp rebound in this case is not certain. According to Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre: “We take the view that “this sell-off is different” and the incessant downward spiral of the market is more reminiscent of the financial crisis than any other bouts of turbulence we’ve had in the remarkable uptrend over the last 10 years.”

Miah continues: “A recovery will come, but it may not necessarily be V-shaped, but more likely a U shape, since the virus in the West is still spreading and we do not know the full economic fallout.”

Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, says that while the spread of the virus will likely have real impact on the global economy, it should be kept in mind that conditions will eventually improve.

He says: “It is worth remembering that forecasters nearly always underestimate human resilience, and thus economic recovery from big shocks. The initial damage is correctly assessed, but the bounce back tends to come earlier and stronger than consensus expects.”

First published by our sister publication Money Observer.

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Beware SIM swap fraud where your calls and texts are redirected to criminals

Beware SIM swap fraud where your calls and texts are redirected to criminals

Criminals are tricking phone companies into swapping SIMS to phones they control and stealing thousands

Stephen Little
Fri, 02/28/2020 – 12:10


Customers at big name mobile operators are being warned to be on the look out for SIM swap fraud.

SIM swapping occurs when a fraudster contacts your mobile operator and convinces them that they are you after getting hold of your personal data.

Once your phone number is on a new SIM all your incoming calls and texts will be sent to the criminals.

When fraudsters gain control of a mobile number they can intercept text messages from banks containing security codes and then proceed to steal your money.

According to Action Fraud, criminals using SIM swaps steal around £4,000 on average.

Mark White, chief executive of fraud prevention service Reassura, says SIM swap fraud is one of the most dangerous frauds but people generally know very little about it.

He says: “We rarely think about the SIM card inside the phone except when we get a new one. Our mobile phones are becoming the keys that unlock our online kingdoms and that’s why SIM scams are so scary.

“The SIM is the access point to taking over someone’s phone number and once they do that, they can gain access to all their online accounts.”

How SIM swap fraud works

SIM swap fraud occurs when criminals convince mobile providers to switch your number to a new phone.

By getting control of your phone fraudsters can get around the two-step authentication process banks use.

Before a mobile phone network cancels and reissues a SIM, it will ask a number of security questions about the account holder.

Experts believe criminals are getting this information on victims from social media websites or by using malware. These details are then sold on the dark web.

Once the fraudsters get hold of this information, they then use it to convince mobile companies they are the victim when requesting the swap.

They then use authorisation codes sent to that phone to access bank accounts and credit cards. They can even take out credit in the victim’s name.

How to tell if you have been SIM-swapped

One of the first signs that your have been a victim of a SIM swap is a sudden change in service. If you have experienced an extended loss of signal, control may have been switched to a new device.

If this happens contact you network provider to check what the issue is as it can block the swap before it happens.

A flood of nuisance calls or messages asking you to turn your phone off could be scammers trying to make the swap easier. So whatever you do, don’t switch your phone off.

How to protect yourself

Set up a SIM PIN – You can prevent unauthorised use of your SIM by setting up another layer of protection with a SIM PIN. This will vary depending on your mobile and network.

Downloads – Only download applications or make in-app purchases from websites and stores that are approved.

Opening links – Always be careful of opening links on your phone and delete anything suspicious. Hackers can install malware on your phone which can be used to steal information and personal data.

Phishing – Fraudsters will often use phishing texts and mails to get hold of your personal information, so make sure you don’t give out any of your personal details or passwords.

Get up-to-date virus software – Having the latest anti-virus software will give you an added layer of protection from the fraudsters and protect you from malware.

Social media – Lots of people put personal information on social media such favourite bands, pets even dates of birth. This information can be used by fraudsters to hack accounts, so make sure you are careful what you put out there.

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