Smartbroker / DAB BNP Paribas have upgraded from papyrus (#R13)

All the Corona troubles make it a slow week for cheapo electronics…again. So here’s something outrageous that I just found out while recycling server parts, fitting and amending the most recent rant nicely.

I got several (snail mail) letters with the recent opening of a banking account with Smartbroker, who somehow use BNP Paribas as their backend and just provide a more fancy user interface with their branding. One contained the password, one contained the user name, one contained the general IBAN and whathaveyou stuff, one even was packaged in two envelopes as it is just transferred from BNP to Smartbroker to me, all for the sake of security (the mail man doesn’t care anymore about the tons of crap that I receive via mail…).

And then there was this one:

That’s a (pressed) CD, for those folks who do not know. (those that do not know probably own a laptop that is thinner than the slimmest available optical reader device required for accessing it)

A CD in 2021.

With basic banking/investment information last updated July 2021.

For a fintech bank that doesn’t even run a single branch office.

In 2021, to just state that again.

Are you guys fucking kidding me?

With said server parts recycling job for the evening, I also needed to test a DVD writer, so I took that CD from the special bin, put it in and copied the contents (took ages, ain’t nobody got time for that). Here’s the content list. It’s 139 files, 25 folders and a little over 260 MiB of data.

Apparently there’s a Mac OS version and one for Windows, none for Linux. Good thing my test mule does in fact an outdated version of that crap. The “FluxPlayer” application then runs some signature checks and displays a welcome window where one has to accept their terms and conditions to see the legally mandated banking information. This is the main menu:

So all this hyper bloatware is…a crappy PDF viewer?

Digging deeper, the zdata/Content folder contains a “0002-972D-63A4-FB7E.fluxpackage” file that can be opened as a ZIP archive (application/zip) with some more DRM nonsense and a striking CONTENT/pdf subfolder.

While the files can be extracted, e.g. drm.xml yields

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<header> <KeyId>0002-972D-63A4-FB7E</KeyId> <ContentId></ContentId> <IndividualizedVersion></IndividualizedVersion> <LicAcquisitionURL></LicAcquisitionURL> <attributes><attribute> <name>_LicenseDiscType</name> <value>1</value></attribute> </attributes> </header>

The basis.pdf (short for “Basisinformationen”, I’d guess – are we also back in 8.3 land?) only has garbled up content with the occasional clear text meta information in it. I’m not going to reverse engineer their protected mandatory information file, but I’m confident this 637 KiB PDF file is all that matters, all the 400x bloat around it, including the ancient disk, is just padding.

Pretty sure there’s a legal requirement somewhere that the customer needs a hard copy of that crucially important information nowadays, and sending a CD via mail is cheaper than printing and mailing 182 pages of write-only paper.

Folks, if you doubt the technological bureaucratic leadership of Germany ever again, this is it. Evidence piece #1.

This could have been an email.

This should have been an email.

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