On the failures of Online Banking

It seems to me that with every upgrade or enhancement, online banking (in Canada) get less useful and far more difficult to use. Having had a 4-month co-op stint at a bank (doing QA for the Online Banking team), I know all about the red-tape involved, plus the antiquated mindset, skills, and technologies at play, so I’m not really surprised; just disappointed.

Some highlights:

  • One bank no longer lets me view my statements online but rather forces me to download a PDF.
  • Several banks don’t actually let me download PDF statements.
  • One bank fails to list the actual statement date when viewing a statement.
  • Two banks limit their passwords at 6-8 characters.
  • One bank has two separate systems: one for their credit card and one for regular banking.
  • One bank forces me to indicate the fact that I’m from Canada every time I visit their site (because the domain on their cookie isn’t set correctly).

Banks should spend less time on building peripheral money management webapps, and focus instead on the core experience. They could pick up about a million cues from mint.com.

As skeptical as I was about the idea of BankSimple, I now wait with bated breath.

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3 Responses to On the failures of Online Banking

  1. Lloyd Budd says:

    How many banks do you have accounts with?

    I loath “Subject: Notification of new Electronic Documents. Body: This is to notify you that new electronic documents have been delivered to you through EasyWeb Internet banking. You have 1 new statement(s).” I wish the email would include what the document is.

    I spend most of my online banking time in Mint.com these days.

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