NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Online Banking Security

Well, EmigrantDirect and INGDirect have both revamped their websites this week to be more secure. This morning I decided to give them both a spin.

Emigrant Direct
Emigrant asked a lot of questions, as expected. I had to verify my SSN, provide them my full date of birth, and even enter in a 10-character code the mailed me last week. After it verified who I was, they prompted me to change my password and pick between 5 and 10 random security questions for which to provide answers.

After getting through that, I was presented with the new layout. Wow, what a difference. They really made up for the poor and barren UI they had prior to this update. And they've increased the functionality quite a bit.

I took advantage of the new options to set up a beneficiary. Unfortunately it doesn't allow me to enter multiple, nor does it allow you to edit all of the details of them once you've entered it. I'm hoping they'll correct this in the future.

I also updated my mailing address, which I noticed a couple weeks ago was incorrect. The UI confused me a little here, as apparently there is a section for your account mailing address and the my primary residence address. The account can simply inherit the primary residence one. So I only had to change my address in one place. But I picked the wrong place on my first try :)

Also, they allow account nicknames now, which I like. It's much easier to do my transfers when I can say "savings to checking" instead of "12348661 to 1068661" or whatever random craziness it was before!

All and all, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. With a couple tweaks, it will even surpass the user friendliness of ING.

ING also updated their site. They have split their login across several screens, which seems to be the new thing lately. They've also added a security picture/word concept.

So, I picked a new picture and a word, and filled out a number of pre-canned questions. Unlike ED, there was no opportunity to create my own questions, but they did have a decent selection.

After filling out the question section, they asked me if I'd like to "register" my computer to avoid typing in my questions all the time. I'm not too keen on that idea, as it means anyone who sneaks into my room could potentially access my accounts. So I decided that feature isn't for me.

That was pretty much the gist of the changes. When I logged in I was greeted with the same UI as always. A little disappointing after the ED goodness, but to be fair, ING was already a great UI.

Anyway, the only thing I found weird about the picture thing is that it doesn't make me verify my picture really. If you answer the questions properly, the picture is just always the right one in my testing. Um, and that helped my account be more secure how, exactly?


  • The point of the picture is so that you always know you are visiting the authentic ING Direct page, not a clone or a scam.

    I just tried logging in and I don't have the enhanced features yet, other than the separation of the customer number on one screen and the passwords on the next.

    By Anonymous Flexo, at 7/26/2006 11:03 AM  

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