What’s new in Security at TransferWise

TransferWise content team
03.08.18
3 minute read

Written by: Edward Dowling
Product manager at TransferWise

Every month at TransferWise, teams prepare a “monthly” - which is a bunch of slides that detail what the team worked on over the past month - giving a brief overview of what went well, what went wrong and what the plan is for the upcoming month.

I’m the product manager on the Security team at TransferWise and as I was preparing this month’s slides, I felt so much of what we were saying was directed only at people in the company and not at our customers, as it should be.

So, instead, I decided to write a monthly update from security for our customers, not my colleagues.

Whenever a company writes about security and privacy, they always begin with the same platitude: “At [insert company name here] we take the security of our users very seriously”. I’m sure you’ve all read it, especially after the deluge of GDPR emails this year. Out of respect I’m going to spare you the same rhetoric and dive right in.

Email

Self-service email change

If you log in with your email and password, you can now change your email address without calling customer support. Hallelujah!

Let’s be honest. This one is embarrassing. It’s been this way for years due to “security concerns”. The initial reasons for it  -  to protect against account take over -  were perfectly valid but no team took it on to fix in three years.

Did you know “how to change your email address” is the second-most viewed FAQ at TransferWise? Emails change, as you graduate from college, move jobs or simply decide “bigsteve89” is not a good look on your CV.

If you want to change your email address, we’ve got everything you need to know right here. This feature is available on web now and is coming to our iOS and Android apps very soon.

Also, Indrek coded the frontend in React. We’re moving away from Angular for our front-end apps, so if you’d like to help us do that, take a look at our careers page for open positions. You can find the link at the bottom of this post.

Little-guard

It’s the little things

Speaking of iOS and Android, Nikolay and Steve (our iOS and Android product engineers respectively) are focusing on polishing the rough edges of our apps. On iOS, we’re about to ship a brand new settings screen.

Calm your excitement, though! Over the years, iOS and Android have diverged in this part of the UI and it is confusing to everyone — from customers, to support, to our own employees — about what features are called or where to find them.

By getting to parity across both platforms, we want to eliminate that gap so our apps are easier to use and easier to get help for when you need it the most. We’re starting with the settings screen and will bring the same approach incrementally to other parts of our apps.

On Android, we’ve copped a lot of customer flack for blocking usage of TransferWise if you use screen overlay apps. We were very well-intentioned when we did this, as overlay apps can read any of the content in the apps they are covering. We wanted to protect our users from having their sensitive data stolen by a rogue app. But our stance is too harsh and causes a lot of frustration for you, so we’re instead going to warn you - very occasionally - about the dangers but let you still use TransferWise with overlay apps enabled, if you want to.

Building

We’re building some awesome things too

Mihkel and Viplov, our backend engineers, have been cranking away with our Plastics team (they are responsible for our shiny, green and awesome MasterCard Debit Card). We don’t like to talk about things we aren’t ready to release, just because we don’t want to get your hopes up only to dash them later, but trust me — it’ll be worth it.

That about covers this month. Seriously though — we actually do take your security and privacy into account for everything we do. I dream about it. No joke. Our mission is to make money borderless — instant, convenient and (eventually) free. We can’t do that if we don’t have your trust.

If you want to help us on our mission, either on Security or any one of our other awesome teams, we’re hiring.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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