ScottHanson.DE Savin it up for Friday night 🎵


That German word is literally "experience of success", but a better translation would be "feeling of achievement". And I just had one!

For over 10 years the banking software (that we use for both home and business) on my Mac has used a card reader to authenticate. The reader is so old it has a serial cable with a USB adapter attached. Every time MacOS updates I've been afraid the device will no longer be recognized. More annoying, when we're on the road it's a bulky device to have to pack along, especially for only one purpose.

I should mention that Germany has its own protocol to communicate online with banks (FinTS, formerly known as HBCI). So I can only use German banking software, and my German might be pretty good, reading a 200 page handbook or protocol specification in my second language is a bit of a barrier.

This has bothered me for years, and in the meantime there other ways to authenticate (e.g. using a smartphone to read a generated TAN graphic, used by our bank) that don't involve extra and outdated devices. In fact German law now requires banks to use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA, I guess the card reader still qualifies). But I was afraid of trying to change the authentication method, I was afraid of losing 13 years of banking data that I had on my local machine!

Yesterday I decided to test changing the authentication. I set up a new account with the "photoTAN" authentication, and to my surprise the banking software applied the authentication to my existing account and it just worked! It took just 5 minutes, and now I'm free from my card reader!

So I guess sometimes when you come to a fork in the road you just have to take it!