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Thread: Bank security questions

  1. #1
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    Default Bank security questions

    What do people reckon are reasonable bank security questions? So, for example, you want to make a payment to someone via internet banking, but the bank thinks the payment is suspicious and stops the payment pending you, the bank account holder, confirming that a) you are indeed the legitimate account holder and b) that you authorise the payment. To my mind, if you cannot prove who you are then you cannot authorise the payment, If you can prove who you are, you then have the power to authorise the payment, or cancel it if needs be.

    Now how do you prove who you are? In my experience (and as has been alluded to before, we have a number of bank accounts so we have a lot of experience in this), you tell the bank some information when you set up the account, information that only you know, so that when the time comes, you can prove who you are by giving them the same information. But what if they say "How old is Jemima Smithers? 21-40, 41-60, over 6, none of these or I don not know this person", and you genuinely don't know the person so you answer with the last option, and they say that's wrong, i. e. they think they know who you know more than you do? How would that prove you are who you say you are? Is it just me or does this seem a bit crazy, that you are asked random questions that you, the legitimate account holder, can't ever know and the only way of passing them is blind luck? And how does that stop some other unauthorised person, by the same token, getting the questions accidentally right and getting access to your account? I'm wondering when they will attempt to assess my identity by asking what my favourite colour is and telling me I am wrong!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bank security questions

    How strange, i've only ever been asked the standard stuff like mum's maiden name, place of birth and name a direct debit or standing order. Online the questions have been more tailored like What's the name of your favourite teacher? but i've never known a vague one like that.

    Maybe they've got a new fangled computer system where they have to select A, B C or D rather than show the actual answer on their screen, it could be a safety measure. Although, i've been contacted by the bank fraud people about suspicious activity a few times and they have just outright asked if i've authorised a payment of X amount or to X person.

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    Default Re: Bank security questions

    Yes, that's what normally happens. They call the number on the account and you get to authorise it or not. This was just weird as there was no way the answers could be known.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bank security questions

    I hope they all don't follow suit.

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    Default Re: Bank security questions

    They're very on the ball here the fraud department. I don't think the French bank and credit card have ever called, but the Maltese one phones all the time. The other day I was making some dining reservations and a $1 hold was being put on the card each time, so it flagged up as suspicious. The phone was ringing within five minutes to check them, I do wonder whether it's with it being a small island so they're twiddling their thumbs a bit.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bank security questions

    Yes, that's the sort of thing that I am fine with. We used to have an Egg card and they would make an automated call for anything that looked out of the ordinary and you would hear the transactions and press 1 if they were genuine or 2 if not, or something like that. It was very good. Then they were taken over by Barclaycard and they don't do that at all, which is slightly more worrying. Halifax give you a personal call but, again, once they have established your identity you say yes or no to authorising it and that's it. Different banks have different approaches, some good and some not so good.

    I've heard a lot about TSB lately closing people's accounts down for spurious reasons, and usually they don't tell the customers why. Also Bank of Scotland, who are in the same group. It's a bit worrying as we have been with Halifax for various accounts over the years, although we are gradually moving away from them now to the more modern companies like Santander. I'd hate to lose my Halifax Clarity card though as it is very useful for travel abroad.

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