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The Rime of the Online Banker

The Rime of the Online Banker

“Secure banking all around us, but not a hassle free protective measure in sight” thinks Kipp. HSBC’s latest Secure Key stinks of unnecessary overcomplicated complications waiting to happen.

January 31, 2012 2:03 by

Online banking: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

To violently paraphrase Coleridge: “Secure banking all around us, but not a hassle free measure in sight.” From special customised privacy questions concerning your first pet dog called Pinky to intricate pin numbers, Kipp has a hard time accepting that we live in the age of smart banking.

Our sentiments are further strengthened when we read about HSBC latest security magazine, the HSBC Secure Key. The key, which Money Watch aptly called, ‘a cheap calculator’ randomly generates a PIN one must enter when logging into one’s HSBC account.

As such, access to Internet Banking requires both your PIN number and the randomly generated number of the Secure Key. Not only is the double access a little bit of a hassle, but it also the size of a credit card—Kipp wouldn’t want to be constantly lugging it around, and chances are we’d forget it frequently.

HSBC is rolling out the scheme in the UK to start with, but Kipp is too scared to even consider what might happen if the ‘Secure Key’ comes to Dubai. Considering what customer service in the banking sector is like in this part of the world, can you imagine what would happen when you inevitably lose your clunky key? Kipp wouldn’t be surprised if you’d be asked to enter the digit on the cheap calculator-looking key before you could start the process of reporting its loss—Yes, we’ve been that frustrated.

No, no, no, thinks Kipp. While we welcome any additional security to our monies, this avenue is all too complicated and just a tad out-dated. Here’s hoping the Secure Key miserably fails—who knows, maybe the lot of you may just “lose” or “misplace” the key (wink, wink)—and HSBC catches up with the true digital age and try and provide an online solution (like mobile verification) to an online issue.

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1 Comment

  1. KumarsofMonarchy on February 1, 2012 6:57 am

    Relax! You guys really know how to throw tantrums around! The secure key is a pretty old technology that has been around for 3-4 years. I’m not sure where you heard about the UK roll out from, but these calculators for fobs have been issued by most UK banks for more than 3 years.

    Besides, if you can handle two factor authentication, you shouldn’t be on the internet at all.


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