Another banking drama (change the ‘b’ to a capital ‘w’ if you like).

A recent visit to Barclays left me in turmoil with regards to security.  Upon requesting a £300 withdrawal I was asked security questions to verify that I owned the account.  The teller proceeded to ask me questions such as “What is your mothers maiden name?”, “What is your secret answer?” and “Can you name any direct debits that go out of your account?”.  The answers to these questions may be inconspicuous to an upstanding member of any community but to an internet criminal the answers to these questions are like Gold… and despite the fact that there was a bulletproof window between me and the teller, there wasn’t such a mechanism between me and the potential criminal standing in-line behind me in the queue.

Given the fact that mobile phones have an alpha numeric pad, and they are pretty simplistic in terms of programming, why can’t a chip and pin device (which is standard-security in banks) have the same function?  This would eradicate the requirement to verbally communicate personal security details and give the option to mutedly answer security questions.

I do have to add however, that I did manage to block my own card by inputting the incorrect number three times and subsequently had my card blocked (hence the security questions of which I was reluctantly appeased by) – but the bank teller should not have be awaiting a verbal response to security questions whilst a queue has formed behind me.


~Sam Snook


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