Consumers Think Online Banking Sucks

Banks are continuing to feel the sting of their own cyber-incompetence. After much publicized security breaches like the Citibank scandal, more and more customers are moving away from online banking due to fears of identity theft. The growth of online banking as an industry in 2005 was only 3.1%, sharply down from the growth of previous years.

Bank of America came out on tops the most widely used online banking solution, but even there, some astonishing breaches of customer’s privacy came to light last year. In 2005, Bank of America lost a number of tapes with the financial records of tens of thousands of federal clients. Furthermore, Bank of America’s employees attempted to sell half a million customer records to the highest bidder. And this is one of the most trusted online banking solutions.

Can anyone blame customers from moving away from online transactions? The banks we trust with our most private and sensitive information continue to betray us, inconveniencing their own legitimate users while handing over millions of dollars to Eastern European scam artists like rubes. With banks starting to consider charging for increased security, it’s no wonder so many people are flipping these idiots the bird.

Consumers Lose Faith in Online Security [Consumer Affairs]


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  1. I attempted to sign up for my bank’s online services (Suntrust), and ended up ditching the effort. Really, really crappy. Unusable.

  2. yerfatma says:

    The fact they still insist on charging us for not using up a teller’s time, the lack of usability and breaking existing interfaces (when Bank of New Hampshire got sucked up by TD BankNorth, bye bye Quicken integration for a year or so) aren’t helping.

  3. misskaz says:

    I love my bank (USAA) and their online banking. They have fantastic customer service too. While we should absolutely demand that the banks we chose to do business with maintain the highest possible levels of security with our data and our money, if you think sending a check in the mail is safe, you’re being silly. I know someone who wrote a check to a hotel front desk, and unscrupulous employees ended up taking the information on his check, forging a fake ID with his info, creating fake checks, and having a nice little shopping spree. He didn’t find out about it until the police showed up at his door with a warrant for his arrest for writing bad checks.

  4. misskaz says:

    Dangit. My comment looked correct in preview. Anyway, to summarize what I meant to say and got munged by my bad html…
    1. My bank – USAA – rocks, and their online banking and customer service is awesome.
    2. Regular checks aren’t safe.
    3. Story about someone I know who had a check stolen from him and only found out someone had been writing bad checks in his name when the police showed up at his door to arrest him.

  5. Andrew W says:

    What does online banking have to do with the big recent instances of identity theft? Criminals are stealing bank cards and PIN numbers, not usernames and passwords.

    While electronic systems are still the failure, the theft isn’t occuring online but with something physical–a check, a bank statement, a credit card and its number. Banks seem to be doing ok at keeping hackers out of their websites. It’s all the other electronic stuff that’s failing: doctored card-swipers, databases accessed by dishonest employees, CDs left in plane seat pockets, etc.

  6. Bubba Barney says:

    I have Wells Fargo and they don’t charge for online stuff. I have had them for 3 years online [13 years for the full account] and haven’t had any issues [knock on wood].

    They used to charge me for stuff, but after being with them so long, they set me up on some ‘preferred customer’ account, and most teller services are free, or reduced.

    They are also easily accessible by phone. I think they are rare back east, which sucks for you guys, because they are pretty good. [again, knock on wood].