When Checking My Own Accounts Became a Headache
Three incidents happened over the weekend made me feel the headache of the login processes at online banks and credit card companies.
I appreciate all the improved security features that financial institutions are now adopting to prevent illegal access to others’ accounts as more and more people rely on conducting their financial activities online, but having to memorize everything for dozens of online accounts isn’t an easy job.
I first tried to log into my IGoBanking account from my home computer as always. However, since I cleaned up my computer the day before and some cookies were removed, it wasn’t recognized by the system and I was asked to verify my identity by answers three security questions. That’s exactly the problem because I have never setup any security questions, nor the system has ever asked me to do so before. How can I answer the questions that I myself don’t even know the answers? The result is I wasn’t able to check my account and have to call their customer service in work days.
Then I was trying to access my auto loan account with Chase and again was asked to validate this is the computer I want to use. Since I have setup automatic payment for this account, I don’t even remember when was the last time I logged in. For Chase, the validation is done by sending a code, but only my home phone is listed as means of contact, not even my email. I don’t understand how come they don’t have my email address because the account was set up online.
The last incident happened with Citibank when I tried to add an new credit card to my online account which is a simple task. But I ended up calling the customer service because the security word I entered didn’t match what they have on record. Unlike the above two cases, this time I was pretty sure that’s word I provided when I applied for the card. Again, no luck. When I called, I was told the word has to be in all lower case, though I am sure when I provided the word, I gave the first letter in capital.
Now the security of online account access has really become a serious issue. So serious that a couple of weeks ago Treasury Direct mailed me a Access Card in order to log into my account. There’s probably no way I can check my account if I don’t carry that piece of plastic with me and I wonder what kind of hassle I will face if I lost the card.
Since when accessing my own accounts became such a big headache?
Update: I called IGoBanking today to complain the issue. They had to reset my password so that I will have a chance to provide answers to the security questions I was asked.
This article was originally written or modified on . If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider subscribing to my full RSS feed. Or you can also choose to have free daily updates delivered right to your inbox.