Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Sberbank has improved the convenience of the Mobile Bank SMS service and expanded USSD management capabilities. Good news for 76 million Russians. If only this news did not become even more good for thousands of scammers who “specialize” in stealing money from Sberbank accounts. And there is such a risk. Therefore, it is better for all Mobile Bank users to read and take note.

Against the backdrop of all sorts of grandiose events, such as plans to create a single 5G infrastructure operator and other burning news in Russian telecom, the news from Sberbank looks absolutely insignificant. However, for the sake of this “small” news, I put aside a rather relevant material with the code name “Roskomnadzor, let's imei all Russians!”. Although I don’t care about multitasking, and I don’t like switching between topics. In this case, the news of Sberbank is more important for its immediate consequences. Useful-good in the form of significant savings on paid SMS and, it is possible, harmful-bad in terms of ensuring the safety of our money. In both scenarios, it's better to be aware to take advantage of the positives and avoid possible negatives.

The essence of innovation

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Well described in the press release, although something extremely important is "unobtrusively" omitted. Sberbank is pardonable: at such a venerable age, the little things already cease to be noticed, only the great is visible. Who dares to condemn? So I won’t risk condemning either, I’ll just notice and comment on the note under the “asterisk”. Bye quotes:

“Svyatoslav Ostrovsky, Head of the Digital Platform Division of Sberbank: “SMS-bank remains in demand among our clients: more than 23 million people actively use the service. We continue to work on the convenience, accessibility and simplicity of the Mobile Bank.

In the full package of Mobile Bank, the Balance command has been improved, which customers use in total more than 600 thousand times a day. Now, by sending this command to number 900, the client will receive an SMS with a list of all cards and their balances: earlier, in order to find out the balance of funds, it was necessary to make a request for each of their cards.

A platform with natural language recognition algorithms was connected to the SMS Bank, thanks to which the Mobile Bank began to understand commands written with typos. The platform's algorithms make it possible to additionally recognize about 20% of requests that previously received the answer "Unknown SMS request".

The use of Sberbank's Mobile Bank via USSD commands has now become available to MTS subscribers. Previously, subscribers of Beeline, Megafon and Tele2 could use this service. USSD commands are a convenient alternative to SMS requests (commands available here). To get started, just dial *900#. Using USSD commands, you can use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. The service is available even with a negative balance. USSD can be used when traveling abroad.

USSD command instead of SMS is a great step towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Sberbank clients. Cellular operators charge SMS messages to number 900 separately at a price of 2-3 rubles per piece, and Sberbank writes (no one pulled them by the tongue) about more than 600 thousand balance requests alone per day. Yes, for many requests are free (included in the price of the “full package” of the Mobile Bank), but there are probably enough users of the “economy package” as well. One way or another, the total figure of about 20 million requests per month can only be envied.

In its press release, Sberbank writes: “. With the help of USSD commands, you can use the Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. And what, with free USSD requests, will Sberbank now send all these tens of millions of rubles a month to the cat down the drain? Yes, for that kind of money you can provide food for all cats in Russia! Cats and kittens too, since we are talking about "tailed ones".

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

No, of course, Sberbank is not going to completely refuse this money, and nothing from them will fall down the drain or into a bowl. No matter how beautiful statements and hints of freebies flashed on the site and in press releases. We carefully read the small print under the asterisk on the Sberbank website with a description of USSD commands: "** For users of the Economy package, the service is paid in accordance with the Bank's tariffs."

Wait, what about the press release about USSD commands with its “. Can I use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900? So everything is correct, you need to read carefully and do not think anything on your own. Does it say “not paying at all”, or “not paying the operator for SMS”? Indeed, you will not pay for SMS, you will pay for a USSD request. And indeed you will not pay the operator, but you will pay Sberbank (probably), here, too, the press release is pure truth. So there is no point in running and turning off the paid full package of Mobile Bank, leaving only the free economical one.

On the other hand, as far as I understand, SMS to number 900 is now paid in any case and for everyone, and USSD balance requests will become free for those who agree to “unfasten” 60 rubles to Sberbank every month. for his Mobile Bank.

For the sake of fairness, let's recall the new format of the response when sending an SMS with the "Balance" command to number 900. Now they promise to issue information in the response immediately on all registered customer cards and the balances of these cards. Probably, for many it will be a real savings.

Finally, the availability of USSD commands for MTS subscribers. To be honest, I could not even suspect such blatant discrimination: it turns out that subscribers of all other operators secretly used USSD commands, only MTS subscribers were for some reason deprived of a high-tech product and were forced to send SMS. We have finally dealt with this serious technical problem and justice has triumphed!

Question price for the client

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Recently, on my Twitter feed, I had a rather heated discussion of SMS requests to the number 900, which unexpectedly became paid in MegaFon from December 3, 2018. By a strange “coincidence”, on November 23, 2018, MegaFon published the news about “changing the cost of messages to the short number 900 “Mobile Bank SMS Service” from Sberbank”, the news is here. Those relatively few who read the news perceived it only as a slight increase in prices. Like, if someone had 2 rubles, then they had 3 rubles. for each SMS to number 900. I want to draw your attention to the fact that both mathematically and legally the replacement of 0 rubles. for 3 rubles is also a change in value. I fully admit that in some regions and on some package tariffs in MegaFon, from December 3, SMS to number 900 ceased to be debited from packages and began to be charged separately at 3 rubles. a piece. Formally, this is fully consistent with the news warning published 10 days in advance (as expected).

Perhaps, after realizing the amount of additional expenses, many forced themselves to give up the habit of regularly sending SMS to number 900. Look again at the screenshot of the correspondence above, a person sent several such SMS almost every day. Surely a significant part of them can be easily abandoned without much discomfort. Judging by what experts say, messages to 900 have never been free. Perhaps they were cheaper. I also fully admit that some operators could write off such messages from the package, and then began to charge separately.Taking money for such SMS is not a crime, it all depends on the content of the contract between the renter of the short number and the mobile operator. The tenant may wish to fully pay for the SMS of his current or potential customers (in the case of an advertising campaign), may pay in part, and the operator will charge users almost the price of a simple SMS. But there is a subtlety: such an SMS is usually still considered content, and the activated “Content Ban” service may prevent it from being sent. Or, at least, the price of such an SMS will be written off strictly from the main balance, and not from its donated / compensated part. We still won’t know the exact content of the agreements between Sberbank and mobile phones, and it’s not a fact that the parameters of these agreements are not revised over time.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Perhaps the current "upgrade" of Sberbank's SMS service is connected with the bank's desire to keep the attractiveness of sending SMS to its service number, again we do not know the terms of contracts between the bank and mobile operators. In any case, it makes sense for us to get acquainted with the new SMS conditions and USSD opportunities of Mobile Bank, for active users there is certainly an opportunity to save money.

Giant numbers, where did they come from?

I mean the phenomenally large number of Mobile Bank users. There are really a lot of them, these users, indecently. And Sberbank is proud of these figures, inserting them into press releases and commemorating them from the stands at every opportunity.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

76 million (!) using "Mobile Bank", 23 million actively using Sberbank's SMS-banking - big numbers. No matter how you play with accounting periods and the concept of “active”, the statistics are still impressive. Where are all these people from? Are cardholders just tired of standing in lines at Sberbank ATMs? Which put at least three, at least ten pieces in a row, all the same, on certain days and times of the day, the tails of the afflicted fall to the green box. And do not believe those who write about exclusively retired grandmothers in such queues, they are lying. However, this is hardly the reason for the frenzied popularity of Mobile Banking. There are a lot of Sberovsky ATMs from the word “very”, some exceptions are remote and sleeping areas. And even there, the situation is clearly monitored, and new boxes appear as the demand grows.

I, so to speak, “monitored” the fantastic numbers of Mobile Bank users on my own skin, and it’s useless to argue with me: this is a complex of human and machine factors, which are all aimed at universal and almost forced “hilling” of everyone by this service, whoever is possible. And who can't either. About two or three years ago I picked up a card at Sberbank, it was almost my first experience of close communication with the staff. Having collected all the signatures , the guy in the window handed over the documents and me "from hand to hand" to the consultant to activate the card. Who said that without confirming the phone number, it is impossible to activate the card at all, this is the order. And he began to connect my Mobile Bank. By the way, paid full version. For 10-15 minutes I resisted, not even really knowing what it was. I just had a gut feeling. But the guy began to appeal to a small crowd in the hall, complaining about my slowness and stubbornness, which delay the whole line. And sympathetically so throwing up his hands. The guys who sell a service or accessory to a client in a mobile phone shop are just puppies compared to this pro. He spat, agreed and left, rejoicing that he was released alive and with a card. Decided to turn it off at home. Yep, schzzz! I had to go to Sberbank again and write an application for refusal. And a year later I suddenly received an SMS with a notification that the "Mobile Bank" version of "Economy" was connected to me. They managed perfectly well without visits to the bank, questions, confirmations and other stupid formalities, why disturb the client in vain over trifles? Thanks for letting me know about the fact. Another trip to Sberbank, another petition for refusal and a thoughtful statement from the girl: “This is how our system works.” Plus, the girl's sincere bewilderment: "Why turn it off, it's completely free!".

In general, since then, no one will convince me that almost half of the "users" of this mobile bank are not "dead souls" who have no idea what exactly they were connected to and why. And really, why? Vtyuhivanie paid version can still be understood, the money does not smell. But in the name of what, massively, automatically and even without visiting the bank, connect people to the free version of "Economy"? Thus, turning the client into a potential victim. A sort of many do not need at all, but completely free hemorrhoids. Free until the money disappears from the bank account. It is impossible to suspect the leadership of Sberbank of colluding with scammers and telephone thieves, so I could not come up with an answer to this question. It can't be that only for the sake of beautiful numbers in the reporting? Riddle.

My long scolding on the topic of actually forcibly connecting everyone to the Mobile Bank is not just a desire to "howl at the moon." The total "hilling" of the population by "Mobile Bank", plus the enchanting ease of stealing money from an account via SMS, plus obvious errors and shortcomings in the system of linking a phone number to a bank account - all this together, in fact, some time ago formed a unique ecosystem, well adapted for robbing bank customers. Fraud is being fought, software bugs are being fixed, security holes are being plugged. There is no dispute. But was it worth it to create comfortable conditions for theft with your own hands, so that later you could start a desperate struggle with the consequences? And this is also not my “howl at the moon”, but a completely justified concern in connection with the current modernization of the remote account management system at Sberbank.

Is there a risk, and if so, what is it?

Over the past few years, the situation with SMS theft from Sberbank accounts has radically improved. Not so long ago, it was just a disaster: having officially bought a SIM card in the cabin, a person as a “bonus” could easily get the opportunity to withdraw money from someone else’s Sberbank account. Without any "hacking" and tricks, just such a gift from the green Santa Claus. And to untie the phone number that no longer belongs to you from your bank account became an almost impossible quest. In all seriousness, they advised me to close an account, get another one and start my financial life from scratch. Read our reviews here and here. This is a direct personal experience, not some rumor-innuendo. You can’t even call this theft, just the temptation to pick up and not take someone’s dropped wallet to the police.

A lot has been fixed and now they are actively fighting not with the consequences of Sberbank's IT nonsense, but with really malicious theft. Fight including cellular operators. It's no secret that all these tricks with blocking SMS for a day after replacing the SIM card in the salon were invented primarily to save money for Sberbank card holders who are vulnerable through SMS banking. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. For example, in MTS, SMS messages are blocked only when a SIM card is replaced by proxy, and when the owner is replaced by a passport, everything continues to work.Similarly, everything will work in the case when there is an accomplice among the operator’s employees who “changes” the SIM card in the system without leaving his workplace without any visits to salons. For example, the latest news from December 06 this year is here. True, there we are talking about the theft of beautiful numbers by fake replacement of SIM cards with the subsequent re-issuance of numbers to conscientious (most likely) buyers, but here everything is determined by the price of the issue. With an appropriate "reward" for access to a well-fed bank account, they will find a way to change the SIM card without blocking, if the system itself does not automatically block sending / receiving SMS with any replacement.

One way or another, over the past few years, mobile operators have been looking for, developing and implementing technologies and procedures, including those specially “sharpened” for combating theft through Sberbank's SMS banking. And in many respects they succeeded in solving this problem. Now, with the introduction of financial transactions management through USSD commands announced by Sberbank, new surprises are not ruled out.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

It is, of course, all very progressive and modern, but blocking USSD commands in case of a fraudulent replacement of a SIM card is not provided. And the USSD functionality, as we see in the screenshot, is rich, including money transfers and the meaningful “other operations”. The consolation is that those who had previously managed to try claim that when trying to transfer money to the phone, you still need to send the confirmation code received in SMS. I hope the developers have tried to take into account all possible options for potential fraud. However, "the hopes of young men are nourished", and the developers are also people who sometimes make mistakes. There is also no doubt that many stakeholders are already carefully studying the functionality in search of new opportunities and loopholes. As for popularly beloved Trojans, a year and a half ago I saw a detailed analysis of instances that seem to be able to read and send USSD messages. It will be necessary to read something fresh on this topic.

Summary

Sometimes a very small and, at first glance, purely technical news can be a harbinger of significant, interesting and not always pleasant events. Let's hope that this news will remain just news about conveniences and additional opportunities for Sberbank customers. And the fact that this material was useful to you only in this sense. In the end - what the hell is not joking? — the Mobile Bank upgrade may well include additional security measures for users.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Sberbank has improved the convenience of the Mobile Bank SMS service and expanded USSD management capabilities. Good news for 76 million Russians. If only this news did not become even more good for thousands of scammers who “specialize” in stealing money from Sberbank accounts. And there is such a risk. Therefore, it is better for all Mobile Bank users to read and take note.

Against the backdrop of all sorts of grandiose events, such as plans to create a single 5G infrastructure operator and other burning news in Russian telecom, the news from Sberbank looks absolutely insignificant. However, for the sake of this “small” news, I put aside a rather relevant material with the code name “Roskomnadzor, let's imei all Russians!”. Although I don’t care about multitasking, and I don’t like switching between topics. In this case, the news of Sberbank is more important for its immediate consequences. Useful-good in the form of significant savings on paid SMS and, it is possible, harmful-bad in terms of ensuring the safety of our money. In both scenarios, it's better to be aware to take advantage of the positives and avoid possible negatives.

The essence of innovation

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Well described in the press release, although something extremely important is "unobtrusively" omitted. Sberbank is forgivable: at such a venerable age, the little things already cease to be noticed, only the great is visible. Who dares to condemn? So I won’t risk condemning either, I’ll just notice and comment on the note under the “asterisk”. Bye quotes:

“Svyatoslav Ostrovsky, Head of the Digital Platform Division of Sberbank: “SMS-bank remains in demand among our clients: more than 23 million people actively use the service. We continue to work on the convenience, accessibility and simplicity of the Mobile Bank.

In the full package of Mobile Bank, the Balance command has been improved, which customers use in total more than 600 thousand times a day. Now, by sending this command to number 900, the client will receive an SMS with a list of all cards and their balances: earlier, in order to find out the balance of funds, it was necessary to make a request for each of their cards.

A platform with natural language recognition algorithms was connected to the SMS Bank, thanks to which the Mobile Bank began to understand commands written with typos. The platform's algorithms make it possible to additionally recognize about 20% of requests that previously received the answer "Unknown SMS request".

The use of Sberbank's Mobile Bank via USSD commands has now become available to MTS subscribers. Previously, subscribers of Beeline, Megafon and Tele2 could use this service. USSD commands are a convenient alternative to SMS requests (commands available here). To get started, just dial *900#. Using USSD commands, you can use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. The service is available even with a negative balance. USSD can be used when traveling abroad.

USSD command instead of SMS is a great step towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Sberbank clients. Cellular operators charge SMS messages to number 900 separately at a price of 2-3 rubles per piece, and Sberbank writes (no one pulled them by the tongue) about more than 600 thousand balance requests alone per day. Yes, for many requests are free (included in the price of the “full package” of the Mobile Bank), but there are probably enough users of the “economy package” as well. One way or another, the total figure of about 20 million requests per month can only be envied.

In its press release, Sberbank writes: “. With the help of USSD commands, you can use the Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. And what, with free USSD requests, will Sberbank now send all these tens of millions of rubles a month to the cat down the drain? Yes, for that kind of money you can provide food for all cats in Russia! Cats and kittens too, since we are talking about "tailed ones".

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

No, of course, Sberbank is not going to completely refuse this money, and nothing from them will fall down the drain or into a bowl. No matter how beautiful statements and hints of freebies flashed on the site and in press releases. We carefully read the small print under the asterisk on the Sberbank website with a description of USSD commands: "** For users of the Economy package, the service is paid in accordance with the Bank's tariffs."

Wait, what about the press release about USSD commands with its “. Can I use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900? So everything is correct, you need to read carefully and do not think anything on your own. Does it say “not paying at all”, or “not paying the operator for SMS”? Indeed, you will not pay for SMS, you will pay for a USSD request. And indeed you will not pay the operator, but you will pay Sberbank (probably), here, too, the press release is pure truth. So there is no point in running and turning off the paid full package of Mobile Bank, leaving only the free economical one.

On the other hand, as far as I understand, SMS to number 900 is now paid in any case and for everyone, and USSD balance requests will become free for those who agree to “unfasten” 60 rubles to Sberbank every month. for his Mobile Bank.

For the sake of fairness, let's recall the new format of the response when sending an SMS with the "Balance" command to number 900. Now they promise to issue information in the response immediately on all registered customer cards and the balances of these cards. Probably, for many it will be a real savings.

Finally, the availability of USSD commands for MTS subscribers. To be honest, I could not even suspect such blatant discrimination: it turns out that subscribers of all other operators secretly used USSD commands, only MTS subscribers were for some reason deprived of a high-tech product and were forced to send SMS. We have finally dealt with this serious technical problem and justice has triumphed!

Question price for the client

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Recently, on my Twitter feed, I had a rather heated discussion of SMS requests to the number 900, which unexpectedly became paid in MegaFon from December 3, 2018. By a strange “coincidence”, on November 23, 2018, MegaFon published the news about “changing the cost of messages to the short number 900 “Mobile Bank SMS Service” from Sberbank”, the news is here. Those relatively few who read the news perceived it only as a slight increase in prices. Like, if someone had 2 rubles, then they had 3 rubles. for each SMS to number 900. I want to draw your attention to the fact that both mathematically and legally the replacement of 0 rubles. for 3 rubles is also a change in value. I fully admit that in some regions and on some package tariffs in MegaFon, from December 3, SMS to number 900 ceased to be debited from packages and began to be charged separately at 3 rubles. a piece. Formally, this is fully consistent with the news warning published 10 days in advance (as expected).

Perhaps, after realizing the amount of additional expenses, many forced themselves to give up the habit of regularly sending SMS to number 900. Look again at the screenshot of the correspondence above, a person sent several such SMS almost every day. Surely a significant part of them can be easily abandoned without much discomfort. Judging by what experts say, messages to 900 have never been free. Perhaps they were cheaper. I also fully admit that some operators could write off such messages from the package, and then began to charge separately.Taking money for such SMS is not a crime, it all depends on the content of the contract between the renter of the short number and the mobile operator. The tenant may wish to fully pay for the SMS of his current or potential customers (in the case of an advertising campaign), may pay in part, and the operator will charge users almost the price of a simple SMS. But there is a subtlety: such an SMS is usually still considered content, and the activated “Content Ban” service may prevent it from being sent. Or, at least, the price of such an SMS will be written off strictly from the main balance, and not from its donated / compensated part. We still won’t know the exact content of the agreements between Sberbank and mobile phones, and it’s not a fact that the parameters of these agreements are not revised over time.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Perhaps the current "upgrade" of Sberbank's SMS service is connected with the bank's desire to keep the attractiveness of sending SMS to its service number, again we do not know the terms of contracts between the bank and mobile operators. In any case, it makes sense for us to get acquainted with the new SMS conditions and USSD opportunities of Mobile Bank, for active users there is certainly an opportunity to save money.

Giant numbers, where did they come from?

I mean the phenomenally large number of Mobile Bank users. There are really a lot of them, these users, indecently. And Sberbank is proud of these figures, inserting them into press releases and commemorating them from the stands at every opportunity.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

76 million (!) using "Mobile Bank", 23 million actively using Sberbank's SMS-banking - big numbers. No matter how you play with accounting periods and the concept of “active”, the statistics are still impressive. Where are all these people from? Are cardholders simply tired of standing in lines at Sberbank ATMs? Which put at least three, at least ten pieces in a row, all the same, on certain days and times of the day, the tails of the afflicted fall to the green box. And do not believe those who write about exclusively retired grandmothers in such queues, they are lying. However, this is hardly the reason for the frenzied popularity of Mobile Bank. There are a lot of Sberovsky ATMs from the word “very”, some exceptions are remote and sleeping areas. And even there the situation is clearly monitored, and new boxes appear as the demand grows.

I, so to speak, “monitored” the fantastic numbers of Mobile Bank users on my own skin, and it’s useless to argue with me: this is a complex of human and machine factors, which are all aimed at the universal and almost forced “hilling” of everyone by this service, whoever is possible. And who can't either. About two or three years ago I picked up a card at Sberbank, it was almost my first experience of close communication with the staff. Having collected all the signatures , the guy in the window handed over the documents and me "from hand to hand" to the consultant to activate the card. Who said that without confirming the phone number, it is generally impossible to activate the card, this is the order. And he began to connect my Mobile Bank. By the way, paid full version. For 10-15 minutes I resisted, not even really knowing what it was. I just had a gut feeling. But the guy began to appeal to a small crowd in the hall, complaining about my slowness and stubbornness, which delay the whole line. And sympathetically so throwing up his hands. The guys who sell a service or accessory to a client in a mobile phone shop are just puppies compared to this pro. He spat, agreed and left, rejoicing that he was released alive and with a card. Decided to turn it off at home. Yep, schzzz! I had to go to Sberbank again and write an application for refusal. And a year later, I suddenly received an SMS with a notification that the "Mobile Bank" of the "Economy" version was connected to me. They managed perfectly well without visits to the bank, questions, confirmations and other stupid formalities, why disturb the client in vain over trifles? Thanks for letting me know the fact. Another trip to Sberbank, another petition for refusal and a thoughtful statement from the girl: “This is how our system works.” Plus, the girl's sincere bewilderment: "Why turn it off, it's completely free!".

In general, since then, no one will convince me that almost half of the "users" of this mobile bank are not "dead souls" who have no idea what exactly they were connected to and why. And really, why? Vtyuhivaniya paid version can still be understood, the money does not smell. But in the name of what, massively, automatically and even without visiting the bank, connect people to the free version of "Economy"? Thus, turning the client into a potential victim. A sort of many do not need at all, but completely free hemorrhoids. Free until the money disappears from the bank account. It is impossible to suspect the leadership of Sberbank of colluding with scammers and telephone thieves, so I could not come up with an answer to this question. It can't be that only for the sake of beautiful numbers in the reporting? Riddle.

My long scolding on the topic of actually forcibly connecting everyone to the Mobile Bank is not just a desire to "howl at the moon." The total "hilling" of the population by "Mobile Bank", plus the enchanting ease of stealing money from an account via SMS, plus obvious errors and shortcomings in the system of linking a phone number to a bank account - all this together, in fact, some time ago formed a unique ecosystem, well adapted for robbing bank customers. Fraud is being fought, software bugs are being fixed, security holes are being plugged. There is no dispute. But was it worth it to create comfortable conditions for theft with your own hands, so that later you could start a desperate struggle with the consequences? And this is also not my “howl at the moon”, but a completely justified concern in connection with the current modernization of the remote account management system at Sberbank.

Is there a risk, and if so, what is it?

Over the past few years, the situation with SMS theft from Sberbank accounts has radically improved. Not so long ago, it was just a disaster: having officially bought a SIM card in the cabin, a person as a “bonus” could easily get the opportunity to withdraw money from someone else’s Sberbank account. Without any "hacking" and tricks, just such a gift from the green Santa Claus. And to untie the phone number that no longer belongs to you from your bank account became an almost impossible quest. In all seriousness, they advised me to close an account, get another one and start my financial life from scratch. Read our reviews here and here. This is a direct personal experience, and not some kind of rumor-insinuation. You can’t even call this theft, just the temptation to pick up and not take someone’s dropped wallet to the police.

A lot has been fixed and now they are actively fighting not with the consequences of Sberbank's IT nonsense, but with really malicious theft. Fight including cellular operators. It's no secret that all these tricks with blocking SMS for a day after replacing the SIM card in the salon were invented primarily to save money for Sberbank card holders who are vulnerable through SMS banking. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. For example, in MTS, SMS messages are blocked only when a SIM card is replaced by proxy, and when the owner is replaced by a passport, everything continues to work.Similarly, everything will work in the case when there is an accomplice among the operator’s employees who “changes” the SIM card in the system without leaving his workplace without any visits to salons. For example, the latest news from December 06 this year is here. True, there we are talking about the theft of beautiful numbers by fake replacement of SIM cards with the subsequent re-issuance of numbers to conscientious (most likely) buyers, but here everything is determined by the price of the issue. With an appropriate "reward" for access to a well-fed bank account, they will find a way to change the SIM card without blocking, if the system itself does not automatically block sending / receiving SMS with any replacement.

One way or another, over the past few years, mobile operators have been looking for, developing and implementing technologies and procedures, including those specially “sharpened” for combating theft through Sberbank's SMS banking. And in many respects they succeeded in solving this problem. Now, with the introduction of financial transactions management through USSD commands announced by Sberbank, new surprises are not ruled out.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

It is, of course, all very progressive and modern, but blocking USSD commands in case of a fraudulent replacement of a SIM card is not provided. And the USSD functionality, as we see in the screenshot, is rich, including money transfers and the meaningful “other operations”. The consolation is that those who had previously managed to try claim that when trying to transfer money to the phone, you still need to send the confirmation code received in SMS. I hope the developers have tried to take into account all possible options for potential fraud. However, "the hopes of young men are nourished", and the developers are also people who sometimes make mistakes. There is also no doubt that many stakeholders are already carefully studying the functionality in search of new opportunities and loopholes. As for popularly beloved Trojans, a year and a half ago I saw a detailed analysis of instances that seem to be able to read and send USSD messages. It will be necessary to read something fresh on this topic.

Summary

Sometimes a very small and, at first glance, purely technical news can be a harbinger of significant, interesting and not always pleasant events. Let's hope that this news will remain just news about conveniences and additional opportunities for Sberbank customers. And the fact that this material was useful to you only in this sense. In the end - what the hell is not joking? — the Mobile Bank upgrade may well include additional security measures for users.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Sberbank has improved the convenience of the Mobile Bank SMS service and expanded USSD management capabilities. Good news for 76 million Russians. If only this news did not become even more good for thousands of scammers who “specialize” in stealing money from Sberbank accounts. And there is such a risk. Therefore, it is better for all Mobile Bank users to read and take note.

Against the backdrop of all sorts of grandiose events, such as plans to create a single 5G infrastructure operator and other burning news in Russian telecom, the news from Sberbank looks absolutely insignificant. However, for the sake of this “small” news, I put aside a rather relevant material with the code name “Roskomnadzor, let's imei all Russians!”. Although I don’t care about multitasking, and I don’t like switching between topics. In this case, the news of Sberbank is more important for its immediate consequences. Useful-good in the form of significant savings on paid SMS and, it is possible, harmful-bad in terms of ensuring the safety of our money. In both scenarios, it's better to be aware to take advantage of the positives and avoid possible negatives.

The essence of innovation

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Well described in the press release, although something extremely important is "unobtrusively" omitted. Sberbank is forgivable: at such a venerable age, the little things already cease to be noticed, only the great is visible. Who dares to condemn? So I won’t risk condemning either, I’ll just notice and comment on the note under the “asterisk”. Bye quotes:

“Svyatoslav Ostrovsky, Head of the Digital Platform Division of Sberbank: “SMS-bank remains in demand among our clients: more than 23 million people actively use the service. We continue to work on the convenience, accessibility and simplicity of the Mobile Bank.

In the full package of Mobile Bank, the Balance command has been improved, which customers use in total more than 600 thousand times a day. Now, by sending this command to number 900, the client will receive an SMS with a list of all cards and their balances: earlier, in order to find out the balance of funds, it was necessary to make a request for each of their cards.

A platform with natural language recognition algorithms was connected to the SMS Bank, thanks to which the Mobile Bank began to understand commands written with typos. The platform's algorithms make it possible to additionally recognize about 20% of requests that previously received the answer "Unknown SMS request".

The use of Sberbank's Mobile Bank via USSD commands has now become available to MTS subscribers. Previously, subscribers of Beeline, Megafon and Tele2 could use this service. USSD commands are a convenient alternative to SMS requests (commands available here). To get started, just dial *900#. Using USSD commands, you can use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. The service is available even with a negative balance. USSD can be used when traveling abroad.

USSD command instead of SMS is a great step towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Sberbank clients. Cellular operators charge SMS messages to number 900 separately at a price of 2-3 rubles per piece, and Sberbank writes (no one pulled them by the tongue) about more than 600 thousand balance requests alone per day. Yes, for many requests are free (included in the price of the “full package” of the Mobile Bank), but there are probably enough users of the “economy package” as well. One way or another, the total figure of about 20 million requests per month can only be envied.

In its press release, Sberbank writes: “. With the help of USSD commands, you can use the Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. And what, with free USSD requests, will Sberbank now send all these tens of millions of rubles a month to the cat down the drain? Yes, for that kind of money you can provide food for all cats in Russia! Cats and kittens too, since we are talking about "tailed ones".

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

No, of course, Sberbank is not going to completely refuse this money, and nothing from them will fall down the drain or into a bowl. No matter how beautiful statements and hints of freebies flashed on the site and in press releases. We carefully read the small print under the asterisk on the Sberbank website with a description of USSD commands: "** For users of the Economy package, the service is paid in accordance with the Bank's tariffs."

Wait, what about the press release about USSD commands with its “. Can I use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900? So everything is correct, you need to read carefully and do not think anything on your own. Does it say “not paying at all”, or “not paying the operator for SMS”? Indeed, you will not pay for SMS, you will pay for a USSD request. And indeed you will not pay the operator, but you will pay Sberbank (probably), here, too, the press release is pure truth. So there is no point in running and turning off the paid full package of Mobile Bank, leaving only the free economical one.

On the other hand, as far as I understand, SMS to number 900 is now paid in any case and for everyone, and USSD balance requests will become free for those who agree to “unfasten” 60 rubles to Sberbank every month. for his Mobile Bank.

For the sake of fairness, let's recall the new format of the response when sending an SMS with the "Balance" command to number 900. Now they promise to issue information in the response immediately on all registered customer cards and the balances of these cards. Probably, for many it will be a real savings.

Finally, the availability of USSD commands for MTS subscribers. To be honest, I could not even suspect such blatant discrimination: it turns out that subscribers of all other operators secretly used USSD commands, only MTS subscribers were for some reason deprived of a high-tech product and were forced to send SMS. We have finally dealt with this serious technical problem and justice has triumphed!

Question price for the client

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Recently, on my Twitter feed, I had a rather heated discussion of SMS requests to the number 900, which unexpectedly became paid in MegaFon from December 3, 2018. By a strange “coincidence”, on November 23, 2018, MegaFon published the news about “changing the cost of messages to the short number 900 “Mobile Bank SMS Service” from Sberbank”, the news is here. Those relatively few who read the news perceived it only as a slight increase in prices. Like, if someone had 2 rubles, then they had 3 rubles. for each SMS to number 900. I want to draw your attention to the fact that both mathematically and legally the replacement of 0 rubles. for 3 rubles is also a change in value. I fully admit that in some regions and on some package tariffs in MegaFon, from December 3, SMS to number 900 ceased to be debited from packages and began to be charged separately at 3 rubles. a piece. Formally, this is fully consistent with the news warning published 10 days in advance (as expected).

Perhaps, after realizing the amount of additional expenses, many forced themselves to give up the habit of regularly sending SMS to number 900. Look again at the screenshot of the correspondence above, a person sent several such SMS almost every day. Surely a significant part of them can be easily abandoned without much discomfort. Judging by what experts say, messages to 900 have never been free. Perhaps they were cheaper. I also fully admit that some operators could write off such messages from the package, and then began to charge separately.Taking money for such SMS is not a crime, it all depends on the content of the contract between the renter of the short number and the mobile operator. The tenant may wish to fully pay for the SMS of his current or potential customers (in the case of an advertising campaign), may pay in part, and the operator will charge users almost the price of a simple SMS. But there is a subtlety: such an SMS is usually still considered content, and the activated “Content Ban” service may prevent it from being sent. Or, at least, the price of such an SMS will be written off strictly from the main balance, and not from its donated / compensated part. We still won’t know the exact content of the agreements between Sberbank and mobile phones, and it’s not a fact that the parameters of these agreements are not revised over time.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Perhaps the current "upgrade" of Sberbank's SMS service is connected with the bank's desire to keep the attractiveness of sending SMS to its service number, again we do not know the terms of contracts between the bank and mobile operators. In any case, it makes sense for us to get acquainted with the new SMS conditions and USSD opportunities of Mobile Bank, for active users there is certainly an opportunity to save money.

Giant numbers, where did they come from?

I mean the phenomenally large number of Mobile Bank users. There are really a lot of them, these users, indecently. And Sberbank is proud of these figures, inserting them into press releases and commemorating them from the stands at every opportunity.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

76 million (!) using "Mobile Bank", 23 million actively using Sberbank's SMS-banking - big numbers. No matter how you play with accounting periods and the concept of “active”, the statistics are still impressive. Where are all these people from? Are cardholders just tired of standing in lines at Sberbank ATMs? Which put at least three, at least ten pieces in a row, all the same, on certain days and times of the day, the tails of the afflicted fall to the green box. And do not believe those who write about exclusively retired grandmothers in such queues, they are lying. However, this is hardly the reason for the frenzied popularity of Mobile Banking. There are a lot of Sberovsky ATMs from the word “very”, some exceptions are remote and sleeping areas. And even there, the situation is clearly monitored, and new boxes appear as the demand grows.

In general, since then, no one will convince me that almost half of the "users" of this mobile bank are not "dead souls" who have no idea what exactly they were connected to and why. And really, why? Vtyuhivaniya paid version can still be understood, the money does not smell. But in the name of what, massively, automatically and even without visiting the bank, connect people to the free version of "Economy"? Thus, turning the client into a potential victim. A sort of many do not need at all, but completely free hemorrhoids. Free until the money disappears from the bank account. It is impossible to suspect the leadership of Sberbank of colluding with scammers and telephone thieves, so I could not come up with an answer to this question. It can't be that only for the sake of beautiful numbers in the reporting? Riddle.

My long scolding on the topic of actually forcibly connecting everyone to the Mobile Bank is not just a desire to "howl at the moon." The total "hilling" of the population by "Mobile Bank", plus the enchanting ease of stealing money from an account via SMS, plus obvious errors and shortcomings in the system of linking a phone number to a bank account - all this together, in fact, some time ago formed a unique ecosystem, well adapted for robbing bank customers. Fraud is being fought, software bugs are being fixed, security holes are being plugged. There is no dispute. But was it worth it to create comfortable conditions for theft with your own hands, so that later you could start a desperate struggle with the consequences? And this is also not my “howl at the moon”, but a completely justified concern in connection with the current modernization of the remote account management system at Sberbank.

Is there a risk, and if so, what is it?

Over the past few years, the situation with SMS theft from Sberbank accounts has radically improved. Not so long ago, it was just a disaster: having officially bought a SIM card in the cabin, a person as a “bonus” could easily get the opportunity to withdraw money from someone else’s Sberbank account. Without any "hacking" and tricks, just such a gift from the green Santa Claus. And to untie the phone number that no longer belongs to you from your bank account became an almost impossible quest. In all seriousness, they advised me to close an account, get another one and start my financial life from scratch. Read our reviews here and here. This is a direct personal experience, not some rumor-innuendo. You can’t even call this theft, just the temptation to pick up and not take someone’s dropped wallet to the police.

A lot has been fixed and now they are actively fighting not with the consequences of Sberbank's IT nonsense, but with really malicious theft. Fight including cellular operators. It's no secret that all these tricks with blocking SMS for a day after replacing the SIM card in the salon were invented primarily to save money for Sberbank card holders who are vulnerable through SMS banking. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. For example, in MTS, SMS messages are blocked only when a SIM card is replaced by proxy, and when the owner is replaced by a passport, everything continues to work.Similarly, everything will work in the case when there is an accomplice among the operator’s employees who “changes” the SIM card in the system without leaving his workplace without any visits to salons. For example, the latest news from December 06 this year is here. True, there we are talking about the theft of beautiful numbers by fake replacement of SIM cards with the subsequent re-issuance of numbers to conscientious (most likely) buyers, but here everything is determined by the price of the issue. With an appropriate "reward" for access to a well-fed bank account, they will find a way to change the SIM card without blocking, if the system itself does not automatically block sending / receiving SMS with any replacement.

One way or another, over the past few years, mobile operators have been looking for, developing and implementing technologies and procedures, including those specially “sharpened” for combating theft through Sberbank's SMS banking. And in many respects they succeeded in solving this problem. Now, with the introduction of financial transactions management through USSD commands announced by Sberbank, new surprises are not ruled out.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

It is, of course, all very progressive and modern, but blocking USSD commands in case of a fraudulent replacement of a SIM card is not provided. And the USSD functionality, as we see in the screenshot, is rich, including money transfers and the meaningful “other operations”. The consolation is that those who had previously managed to try claim that when trying to transfer money to the phone, you still need to send the confirmation code received in SMS. I hope the developers have tried to take into account all possible options for potential fraud. However, "the hopes of young men are nourished", and the developers are also people who sometimes make mistakes. There is also no doubt that many stakeholders are already carefully studying the functionality in search of new opportunities and loopholes. As for popularly beloved Trojans, a year and a half ago I saw a detailed analysis of instances that seem to be able to read and send USSD messages. It will be necessary to read something fresh on this topic.

Summary

Sometimes a very small and, at first glance, purely technical news can be a harbinger of significant, interesting and not always pleasant events. Let's hope that this news will remain just news about conveniences and additional opportunities for Sberbank customers. And the fact that this material was useful to you only in this sense. In the end - what the hell is not joking? — the Mobile Bank upgrade may well include additional security measures for users.

Sberbank expands SMS and USSD functionality

Sberbank has improved the convenience of the Mobile Bank SMS service and expanded USSD management capabilities. Good news for 76 million Russians. If only this news did not become even more good for thousands of scammers who “specialize” in stealing money from Sberbank accounts. And there is such a risk. Therefore, it is better for all Mobile Bank users to read and take note.

Against the backdrop of all sorts of grandiose events, such as plans to create a single 5G infrastructure operator and other burning news in Russian telecom, the news from Sberbank looks absolutely insignificant. However, for the sake of this “small” news, I put aside a rather relevant material with the code name “Roskomnadzor, let's imei all Russians!”. Although I don’t care about multitasking, and I don’t like switching between topics. In this case, the news of Sberbank is more important for its immediate consequences. Useful-good in the form of significant savings on paid SMS and, it is possible, harmful-bad in terms of ensuring the safety of our money. In both scenarios, it's better to be aware to take advantage of the positives and avoid possible negatives.

The essence of innovation

Well described in the press release, although something extremely important is "unobtrusively" omitted. Sberbank is forgivable: at such a venerable age, the little things already cease to be noticed, only the great is visible. Who dares to condemn? So I won’t risk condemning either, I’ll just notice and comment on the note under the “asterisk”. Bye quotes:

“Svyatoslav Ostrovsky, Head of the Digital Platform Division of Sberbank: “SMS-bank remains in demand among our clients: more than 23 million people actively use the service. We continue to work on the convenience, accessibility and simplicity of the Mobile Bank.

In the full package of Mobile Bank, the Balance command has been improved, which customers use in total more than 600 thousand times a day. Now, by sending this command to number 900, the client will receive an SMS with a list of all cards and their balances: earlier, in order to find out the balance of funds, it was necessary to make a request for each of their cards.

A platform with natural language recognition algorithms was connected to the SMS Bank, thanks to which the Mobile Bank began to understand commands written with typos. The platform's algorithms make it possible to additionally recognize about 20% of requests that previously received the answer "Unknown SMS request".

The use of Sberbank's Mobile Bank via USSD commands has now become available to MTS subscribers. Previously, subscribers of Beeline, Megafon and Tele2 could use this service. USSD commands are a convenient alternative to SMS requests (commands available here). To get started, just dial *900#. Using USSD commands, you can use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. The service is available even with a negative balance. USSD can be used when traveling abroad.

USSD command instead of SMS is a great step towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Sberbank clients. Cellular operators charge SMS messages to number 900 separately at a price of 2-3 rubles per piece, and Sberbank writes (no one pulled them by the tongue) about more than 600 thousand balance requests alone per day. Yes, for many requests are free (included in the price of the “full package” of the Mobile Bank), but there are probably enough users of the “economy package” as well. One way or another, the total figure of about 20 million requests per month can only be envied.

In its press release, Sberbank writes: “. With the help of USSD commands, you can use the Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900. And what, with free USSD requests, will Sberbank now send all these tens of millions of rubles a month to the cat down the drain? Yes, for that kind of money you can provide food for all cats in Russia! Cats and kittens too, since we are talking about "tailed ones".

No, of course, Sberbank is not going to completely refuse this money, and nothing from them will fall down the drain or into a bowl. No matter how beautiful statements and hints of freebies flashed on the site and in press releases. We carefully read the small print under the asterisk on the Sberbank website with a description of USSD commands: "** For users of the Economy package, the service is paid in accordance with the Bank's tariffs."

Wait, what about the press release about USSD commands with its “. Can I use Mobile Bank without paying the operator for outgoing SMS to number 900? So everything is correct, you need to read carefully and do not think anything on your own. Does it say “not paying at all”, or “not paying the operator for SMS”? Indeed, you will not pay for SMS, you will pay for a USSD request. And indeed you will not pay the operator, but you will pay Sberbank (probably), here, too, the press release is pure truth. So there is no point in running and turning off the paid full package of Mobile Bank, leaving only the free economical one.

On the other hand, as far as I understand, SMS to number 900 is now paid in any case and for everyone, and USSD balance requests will become free for those who agree to “unfasten” 60 rubles to Sberbank every month. for his Mobile Bank.

For the sake of fairness, let's recall the new format of the response when sending an SMS with the "Balance" command to number 900. Now they promise to issue information in the response immediately on all registered customer cards and the balances of these cards. Probably, for many it will be a real savings.

Finally, the availability of USSD commands for MTS subscribers. To be honest, I could not even suspect such blatant discrimination: it turns out that subscribers of all other operators secretly used USSD commands, only MTS subscribers were for some reason deprived of a high-tech product and were forced to send SMS. We have finally dealt with this serious technical problem and justice has triumphed!

Question price for the client

Recently, on my Twitter feed, I had a rather heated discussion of SMS requests to the number 900, which unexpectedly became paid in MegaFon from December 3, 2018. By a strange “coincidence”, on November 23, 2018, MegaFon published the news about “changing the cost of messages to the short number 900 “Mobile Bank SMS Service” from Sberbank”, the news is here. Those relatively few who read the news perceived it only as a slight increase in prices. Like, if someone had 2 rubles, then they had 3 rubles. for each SMS to number 900. I want to draw your attention to the fact that both mathematically and legally the replacement of 0 rubles. for 3 rubles is also a change in value. I fully admit that in some regions and on some package tariffs in MegaFon, from December 3, SMS to number 900 ceased to be debited from packages and began to be charged separately at 3 rubles. a piece. Formally, this is fully consistent with the news warning published 10 days in advance (as expected).

Perhaps the current "upgrade" of Sberbank's SMS service is connected with the bank's desire to keep the attractiveness of sending SMS to its service number, again we do not know the terms of contracts between the bank and mobile operators. In any case, it makes sense for us to get acquainted with the new SMS conditions and USSD opportunities of Mobile Bank, for active users there is certainly an opportunity to save money.

Giant numbers, where did they come from?

I mean the phenomenally large number of Mobile Bank users. There are really a lot of them, these users, indecently. And Sberbank is proud of these figures, inserting them into press releases and commemorating them from the stands at every opportunity.

76 million (!) using "Mobile Bank", 23 million actively using Sberbank's SMS-banking - big numbers. No matter how you play with accounting periods and the concept of “active”, the statistics are still impressive. Where are all these people from? Are cardholders just tired of standing in lines at Sberbank ATMs? Which put at least three, at least ten pieces in a row, all the same, on certain days and times of the day, the tails of the afflicted fall to the green box. And do not believe those who write about exclusively retired grandmothers in such queues, they are lying. However, this is hardly the reason for the frenzied popularity of Mobile Banking. There are a lot of Sberovsky ATMs from the word “very”, some exceptions are remote and sleeping areas. And even there, the situation is clearly monitored, and new boxes appear as the demand grows.

I, so to speak, “monitored” the fantastic numbers of Mobile Bank users on my own skin, and it’s useless to argue with me: this is a complex of human and machine factors, which are all aimed at universal and almost forced “hilling” of everyone by this service, whoever is possible. And who can't either. About two or three years ago I picked up a card at Sberbank, it was almost my first experience of close communication with the staff. Having collected all the signatures, the guy in the window handed over the documents and me "from hand to hand" to the consultant "to activate the card." Who said that without confirming the phone number, it is impossible to activate the card at all, this is the order. And he began to connect my Mobile Bank. By the way, paid full version. For 10-15 minutes I resisted, not even really knowing what it was. I just had a gut feeling. But the guy began to appeal to a small crowd in the hall, complaining about my slowness and stubbornness, which delay the whole line. And sympathetically so throwing up his hands. The guys who sell a service or accessory to a client in a mobile phone shop are just puppies compared to this pro. He spat, agreed and left, rejoicing that he was released alive and with a card. Decided to turn it off at home. Yep, schzzz! I had to go to Sberbank again and write an application for refusal. And a year later I suddenly received an SMS with a notification that the "Mobile Bank" version of "Economy" was connected to me. They managed perfectly well without visits to the bank, questions, confirmations and other stupid formalities, why disturb the client in vain over trifles? Thanks for letting me know about the fact. Another trip to Sberbank, another petition for refusal and a thoughtful statement from the girl: “This is how our system works.” Plus, the girl's sincere bewilderment: "Why turn it off, it's completely free!".

I, so to speak, “monitored” the fantastic numbers of Mobile Bank users in my own skin, and it’s useless to argue with me: this is a complex of human and machine factors, which are all aimed at the total and almost forced “hilling” of everyone who is possible with this service . And who can't either. About two or three years ago I picked up a card at Sberbank, it was almost my first experience of close communication with the staff. Collecting all the signatures , the guy in the window handed over the documents and me "from hand to hand" to the consultant "to activate the card." Who said that without confirming the phone number, it is impossible to activate the card at all, this is the order. And he began to connect my Mobile Bank. By the way, paid full version. For 10-15 minutes I resisted, not even really knowing what it was. I just had a gut feeling. But the guy began to appeal to a small crowd in the hall, complaining about my slowness and stubbornness, which delay the whole line. And sympathetically so throwing up his hands. The guys who sell a service or accessory to a client in a mobile phone shop are just puppies compared to this pro. He spat, agreed and left, rejoicing that he was released alive and with a card. Decided to turn it off at home. Yep, schzzz! I had to go to Sberbank again and write an application for refusal. And a year later I suddenly received an SMS with a notification that the "Mobile Bank" version of "Economy" was connected to me. They managed perfectly well without visits to the bank, questions, confirmations and other stupid formalities, why disturb the client in vain over trifles? Thanks for letting me know about the fact. Another trip to Sberbank, another petition for refusal and a thoughtful statement from the girl: “This is how our system works.” Plus, the girl's sincere bewilderment: "Why turn it off, it's completely free!".

In general, since then, no one will convince me that almost half of the "users" of this mobile bank are not "dead souls" who have no idea what exactly they were connected to and why. And really, why? Vtyuhivaniya paid version can still be understood, the money does not smell. But in the name of what, massively, automatically and even without visiting the bank, connect people to the free version of "Economy"? Thus, turning the client into a potential victim. A sort of many do not need at all, but completely free hemorrhoids. Free until the money disappears from the bank account. It is impossible to suspect the leadership of Sberbank of colluding with scammers and telephone thieves, so I could not come up with an answer to this question. It can't be that only for the sake of beautiful numbers in the reporting? Riddle.

My long scolding on the topic of actually forcibly connecting everyone to the Mobile Bank is not just a desire to "howl at the moon." The total "hilling" of the population by "Mobile Bank", plus the enchanting ease of stealing money from an account via SMS, plus obvious errors and shortcomings in the system of linking a phone number to a bank account - all this together, in fact, some time ago formed a unique ecosystem, well adapted for robbing bank customers. Fraud is being fought, software bugs are being fixed, security holes are being plugged. There is no dispute. But was it worth it to create comfortable conditions for theft with your own hands, so that later you could start a desperate struggle with the consequences? And this is also not my “howl at the moon”, but a completely justified concern in connection with the current modernization of the remote account management system at Sberbank.

Is there a risk, and if so, what is it?

Over the past few years, the situation with SMS theft from Sberbank accounts has radically improved. Not so long ago, it was just a disaster: having officially bought a SIM card in the cabin, a person as a “bonus” could easily get the opportunity to withdraw money from someone else’s Sberbank account. Without any "hacking" and tricks, just such a gift from the green Santa Claus. And to untie the phone number that no longer belongs to you from your bank account became an almost impossible quest. In all seriousness, they advised me to close an account, get another one and start my financial life from scratch. Read our reviews here and here. This is a direct personal experience, not some rumor-innuendo. You can’t even call this theft, just the temptation to pick up and not take someone’s dropped wallet to the police.

A lot has been fixed and now they are actively fighting not with the consequences of Sberbank's IT nonsense, but with really malicious theft. Fight including cellular operators. It's no secret that all these tricks with blocking SMS for a day after replacing the SIM card in the salon were invented primarily to save money for Sberbank card holders who are vulnerable through SMS banking. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. For example, in MTS, SMS messages are blocked only when a SIM card is replaced by proxy, and when the owner is replaced by a passport, everything continues to work.Similarly, everything will work in the case when there is an accomplice among the operator’s employees who “changes” the SIM card in the system without leaving his workplace without any visits to salons. For example, the latest news from December 06 this year is here. True, there we are talking about the theft of beautiful numbers by fake replacement of SIM cards with the subsequent re-issuance of numbers to conscientious (most likely) buyers, but here everything is determined by the price of the issue. With an appropriate "reward" for access to a well-fed bank account, they will find a way to change the SIM card without blocking, if the system itself does not automatically block sending / receiving SMS with any replacement.

One way or another, over the past few years, mobile operators have been looking for, developing and implementing technologies and procedures, including those specially “sharpened” for combating theft through Sberbank's SMS banking. And in many respects they succeeded in solving this problem. Now, with the introduction of financial transactions management through USSD commands announced by Sberbank, new surprises are not ruled out.

It is, of course, all very progressive and modern, but blocking USSD commands in case of a fraudulent replacement of a SIM card is not provided. And the USSD functionality, as we see in the screenshot, is rich, including money transfers and the meaningful “other operations”. The consolation is that those who had previously managed to try claim that when trying to transfer money to the phone, you still need to send the confirmation code received in SMS. I hope the developers have tried to take into account all possible options for potential fraud. However, "the hopes of young men are nourished", and the developers are also people who sometimes make mistakes. There is also no doubt that many stakeholders are already carefully studying the functionality in search of new opportunities and loopholes. As for popularly beloved Trojans, a year and a half ago I saw a detailed analysis of instances that seem to be able to read and send USSD messages. It will be necessary to read something fresh on this topic.

Summary

Sometimes a very small and, at first glance, purely technical news can be a harbinger of significant, interesting and not always pleasant events. Let's hope that this news will remain just news about conveniences and additional opportunities for Sberbank customers. And the fact that this material was useful to you only in this sense. In the end - what the hell is not joking? — the Mobile Bank upgrade may well include additional security measures for users.