Banking Off

Here are the three ways I can find out how much money I have in my bank account:

1) Open my latest bank statement, and check the figure at the bottom. This is accurate to the last fortnight.

2) Walk to the ATM, insert my debit card, type my PIN, and read the numbers. This is accurate to the last four days.

3) Switch on a computer, load up a browser, go to my bank's website, type in my 10 digit identification code, then three digits from my security number, then the answer to my security question.

Now, I had a choice of 6 security questions, including such universally applicable queries as "What is your first child's name?" and "What is your favourite restaurant?". Considering that I'm inexplicably childless and not pretentious or rich enough to eat out more than once a year, I'm left wondering what kind of question setter thinks everyone has a favourite restaurant.

Presumably it's the one you go to with your life partner when you've hired a nanny to look after your first child, in your gated community.

Anyway, having entered all this, I get out the credit-card sized 'digipass' device which the bank have sent me, tell it my PIN (but not the one I use at the ATM), and type the 6 figure code (different each time) it generates into the webpage.

Ah, but what if I've forgotten which was my favourite restaurant at the time I set up the security question? Fear not, because then I click the 'Forgotten your memorable answer?' link, do the rigmarole with the digipass widgit, and answer another two security questions.

These are things like 'Who was your best friend at school?' and 'What is the name of your pet?'. Considering most people had several best friends throughout their schooldays, and most pet-owners have owned more than one pet, this is just as well thought out as the rest of the process.

There is then a third security question, but this one's called the 'Memorable Q&A'. And then there's a mysterious 'confirmation' process which I haven't yet explored. But then I can see my bank details.

Ah, but what if I've somehow forgotten the 10 digit code the bank assigned to me? Then I click the 'Forgotten Internet Banking ID?' link, and type my 6 digit sort code and my 8 digit account number, or my 16 digit debit card number...and then do the business with the digipass doobry and the security questions.

So, for internet banking all I need to have is:
* 1 ID code of 10 digits
* 1 security number of 6 digits
* Answers to 4 security questions that don't apply to me
* 1 PIN of 4 digits, in addition to the one I use at the ATM
* 1 sort code of 6 digits
* 1 account code of 8 digits
* 1 debit card code of 16 digits
* 1 breakable little handheld device

With all that, I can read the digital version of my latest bank statement.

Which is accurate to the last fortnight.

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of rigmaole. I just have to have my identification number and a password. But then, I only have about 50 cents in my bank account so secuity is not really an issue. :)