Not Banking on it

I have been using on-line banking for not much less the time it has been around. It is more than just a useful tool, for many it is almost their only contact with their money

I understand people still have some security issues, but really, with a little common sense applied and the current tech that goes into banking like key generators you should be fine.

There is one thing however that I don’t understand. It feels like it is being held back for no good reason. For something that has been with us on the web for some time, it feels no different.

I admit my main experience of this is NationWide, however from what I have seen, others are no better.

For example:

  • Why do we not have nice shiny interfaces?
  • Why can I not tag payments by type and draw graphs of them?
  • Why Can I not put in regular payments and forecast savings?
  • Hell, why are the views so cryptic and the interface so clunky?

I know there are a number of these tools on-line which address most of my issues, however they require you to give them your sign-in details which not only breaks the TOS with the bank, it also just feels wrong and breaks my common sense rule.

Where is the Gmail of on-line banking?


  1. pewterfish says:

    Show me the money.

    No, really. Natwest isn’t much better than Nationwide for this sort of thing, and I have to admit, I like the idea of what you propose. However, it’s development with no financial comeback, so why should a finance-house, of all people, bother with it?

    …I don’t mean to be confrontational there, I may have been possessed by the spirit of a banker for a moment, but you see my point, I think.

    Giving your details to an online service like that is a Dumb Idea, you’re right. Something like a secure OpenID (PGP key or equivalent) appears to be indicated, so that we can allow partial access to said service. The in-house solution is, of course, better, but remains unlikely to my mind.

    Much blather. I think the root problem is the perceived inherent insecurity of the HTTP/HTML platform, coupled with the cost of developing pretty, featureful interfaces and The Authentication Problem. I’d love to see the interfaces you describe, but I don’t expect to in the immediate future.

  2. Craig says:

    I see your point, however (to make a change 😛 ) I respectfully disagree. In these fairly tough belt tightening times the margins between banks is pretty slim so there is not much in who you go with. In such times what they need is something to push them up and over their competition. Relatively speaking developing that kind of feature set and interface is cheap.

    I don’t expect this to happen any time soon, but I actually think there could well be money to be made in making life easier for customers.

    I think I showed you this talk some time ago (or maybe you showed it to me) where an ad man talks about changing the interface to change the behaviour.


    He then goes on to talk about making a big button to allow people to save. This in my opinion is that big button. A big button that sends more people your way and keeps them putting more money in your system because the benefits can be seen clearly.

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