Home banking…Do we need it? I say NO!

If you did a poll among adult Danish Internet users on why they have a computer and an Internet connection, I’m pretty sure that home banking would come out on top, but do we really need home banking in Denmark.

I’ll put in an argument that private users don’t need it, and that the nightmarish security threats, alone, should disqualify home banking as an application for home users.

I need to pay my bills?

Hmm…Do you really?

If you ask ordinary people, they will say that they only need to enter bills 1-2 times every month, so couldn’t you just do that at the nearest ATM, it’s very few people that NEVER go outside.

The reason that Danes need to pay that few bills, is that we In Denmark has a long tradition, it’s been in existence since the 70-ies, of automated electronic payments. Most of the payments can be automated by signing up with the common payment service of the Danish banks, BS (BetalingService= Payment Service), and all bills will be automatically charged to your account, this means that it’s VERY rare that you need to enter bills manually, and when you do, you can usually choose to have the bill registered with BS automatically, so that it will be charged automatically in the future.

I only get printed statements every third month

Hmm…Do you actually need home banking to get that?

The next argument is that you no longer get a printed statement from the bank, well the statement could be e-mailed, using encrypted e-mail, to you at set levels, e.g. after 10 transactions, daily, weekly etc., but why not make it into a RSS feed that you could subscribe to? And you can get a printed statement at the nearest ATM 24-7-365!

You can also use the good old voice service over the phone, or the WAP/SMS based services that the banks are offering. I’d say that the security of the phone solutions always were questionable.

Conclusion

The majority of us could live without computer based home-banking.

  • The security threats are too big for ordinary users to handle
  • The voice services are much more mobile and secure
  • Most of your banking needs can be handled at the ATM, for instance transferring of money to other accounts
  • The banks could offer simple e-mail subscriptions, the eBoks solution is WAY too complicated for ordinary users.

So dear banks here’s a challenge, start working on making the anachronism desktop PCs and home banking a thing of the past, most private users need mobile and SIMPLE solutions, not the bloated incompatible applications that require lots of computing power and quite often are tied to specific platforms, that we have right now.

2 Responses to “Home banking…Do we need it? I say NO!”

  1. Ole Says:

    Transfering money to and from accounts is much easier done at home over the Internet, then standing in front of the ATM on a cold, rainy winterday with 5 people waiting in line behind you.

    The security issues? Well, my bank (www.jyskenetbank.dk) uses one-time-passwords (OTP) as well as a password only known to me. My login in my social security number. This is 2-factor-authentication, and doesn’t include any secret key stored on the PC (which I agree could be stolen etc etc). Basically I (and many others, including experts) consider the solution with OTP quite secure, and easy to work with.

    And works with virtually all modern webbrowsers and most operating systems on most machine architectures. Personally I have done it from Firefox on HPUX on PA-RISC.

    I don’t see the problem with home banking.

  2. Kim Says:

    Good points…

    Well…It was sort of a provocation, and I’m happy that it provoked an answer

    And a geekstradionaire comme toi, bien sûre il n’as pas des problemes…

    My point is that ORDINARY users you could do 99% of your home banking without a general computer, and that I will question that we had ANY progress over the old voice response systems with the current unsecure (due to malware, not the technology choosen by the banks) computers…No line, no rainy outdoors ATM (BTW more and more are indoors, for instance located in shopping malls, these days).

    If you’re into conspiracy theories, I know that I am, then I see an unholy alliance between Las Vegas, big coorporations, software and hardware manufacturers with only one agenda…how to lure money out of the consumers…(I excluded the government, but I suspect that they’re in on it as well…

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