How Wireless Will Pave the Path to Neobank Profitability

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The Cloud has the most abysmal mobile payments gateway ever (WorldPay). Please recommend an alternative to help them see the light!

This evening I was stuck at Waterloo for at least 45 minutes. The train I’d expected to take was cancelled. No biggie. I decided to wait. Waterloo is a pretty good station with some reasonable facilities.

I remembered I needed to download another episode of The Killing (Series 2). Often, the 15-minute free option of The Cloud WiFi at Waterloo is fast enough to get 50% of the average iTunes episode downloaded.

This free account is a smart idea — I use it a lot. Rarely am I in the station for extended periods of time so it suits me fine. I’m mostly using my EE 4G MiFi unit too. Although I’ve been absolutely hammering it (in the name of research) so I was looking to try and give it a breather this evening.

I took out my phone and decided it was time I tried out a full month’s subscription to The Cloud. Since we moved in December, I’m now regularly at Waterloo so I reckon it might be worth it. Plus if it meant I could swiftly download the odd iTunes episode quickly, bring it on.

My express intent was to sign-up to the monthly £9.95 unlimited subscription account which I could use on all my devices.

I flicked through the various options and selected the monthly option.

Then it all went Pete Tong (“Wrong”).

Look at this billing screen:



Hardly friendly. Indeed it confirms the price twice. And it doesn’t fit on the phone’s screen. Every other part of The Cloud’s user experience fits beautifully on the phone. Except when they throw their users over to their payment gateway.

All of a sudden I’m being asked to remember some WorldPay account.

It gets worse.



Ah. Maze. Ing.

You are SHITTING me!

Who — seriously — approved this in quality assurance?

Look at it!

The flipping “Continue” button is half on the screen.

And when it comes to the card entry details…?

Yeah, it gets worse:



It is ALL over the place.

ALL over the place.

Utterly ridiculous.

This is not making me feel at all impressed. Or secure. Or like the payment processor (or The Cloud) has a flipping clue about anything beyond the year 1998.


I continued to scroll down just to see the damage.


I had to surpress the urge to laugh out loud at the “Fax” option.

And what, precisely, am I meant to click on when I’ve finished typing in these details?

Where is the “Go” button?

I *think* it’s actually OFF the side of the page — hidden.


Utterly horrific.

To the geniuses at The Cloud — this is a total clusterfluck. How exactly do you expect anyone to pay you in this manner? If I had days to waste, I might give it a shot. But seriously — when I’m at a transit hub, and I’m ready to give you money — is this the quickest way you’ve got of taking it?

Time for me to take some breaths.

I was almost hyperventilating on the concourse at Waterloo. Hyperventilating with rage.


Dear me.

So I’d like to ask for your help.

If you were running this service, what payments provider would you recommend? Surely not WorldPay (in this configuration instance, anyway)?





  1. Do you not have a Sky account? Once you’ve installed the app or logged in once, you never see the landing page. Utterly seamless like O2 & completely puts BT Openzone to shame.

  2. Use Buck in tandem with your own merchant account or paypal account. Hell even paypals own mobile site is better than that. For mobiles it would be worth considering having Payforit as an option as the outpayments are getting more comparable with cards and the latest implementation is much better on wi-fi than it used to be.

  3. It would be interesting to know how many people actually ever pay anything for The Cloud – I’ve always thought of them as a provider of free WiFi in places like Wetherspoon pubs and McDonalds, not as somebody I’d actually pay to provide service. If they don’t have all that many paying customers then it wouldn’t surprise me if they have let the payment system suffer from bit rot.

  4. I reckon I’d have paid for it at least 3 times now. It’s actually really fast. Fast enough to download a TV episode in about 15-20 minutes — which, for public wifi, is really good going. And that’s what prompted me to try and sign up for the monthly service.

    I’d like to know how many people get to the check-out page then think ‘nahhh’.

    But perhaps you’re right. Perhaps no one beyond the odd geek like me cares.

  5. It’s interesting to hear that it’s fast. My experience with free services from The Cloud have never really been good enough that it would be a service that I would pay for (I don’t mean to sound too negative about it – it’s free so it’s better than using up my 500 meg from Vodafone, but it’s often a bit flaky).

  6. They’re better than they used to be (I guess getting bought out by Sky has been a good thing), but I still find (especially at various Wetherspoons) getting a working connection can be hit and miss.


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