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eBanking - Customer Rants and Raves

eBanking Rants and Raves
by Michele Petry, Ph.D. and Mary Beth Guard, Esq.

Have you ever stopped to think about your bank's Internet offering from your customer's perspective? We have! We've talked with hundreds of individuals and businesses who have either tried and quit online banking or who have changed banking institutions in search for the "holy grail" of efficient, dependable and secure online services.

Rarely were those we asked indifferent about their online banking service. Most had strong opinions and many of their sentences began with "I don't understand why my bank can't . . ." We certainly heard more complaints than compliments. Here, we share with you a selection of their rants -- and their raves. You may find from reading the comments that customers should find a lot to like at your institution. Or you may discover some of their pet peeves are all too applicable to your service.

RANTS

Accurate, Understandable Balance Information

  • Why isn't all the information real-time -- or at least closer to real-time than it currently is?
  • Why are balances just updated once a day?
  • I don't understand the descriptions my bank uses to describe balance information. What's the difference between "Available Balance" and "Current Balance"? Why do I have more funds "available" to me than I currently have in my account?
  • What is a ledger balance and why is that on there? All I want to know is how much I can withdraw or write checks against.
  • Why is the current account balance reported in real time, but the actual account detail just updated once a day, causing a disconnect between the two and making me uncertain where the account stands?
  • Why can't the terms (such as "ledger balance") be hyperlinked so I can click and get a definition if I don't understand the bank's terminology?


Navigation

  • The log-in page to Internet banking has a funky URL that I can never remember. Why can't my bank set up a page with an easy to remember URL, then use a behind-the-scenes redirect tag to take me to the login page. If the Web address was www.nameofmybank.com/online, I could always remember that, type it in quickly, then it could redirect me instantly to the real page.
  • Too many clicks are required! I go to my bank's home page. Then I click on their name for their online banking, then I have to choose from another menu on the next page to indicate that I'm an online customer and click again. After the second click, I finally get to the login screen. Then I have to type in my name and PIN and click a third time. There should be one-click access from the front page.
  • Why is my screen filled with data fields that have no relation to my account? My account is a checking account that doesn't pay interest, yet there's a field for interest paid year to date, a field for interest paid last month, a field for data about float. It just means I have to scroll more before I can get to what I really want.
  • The button placement is not intuitive. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally clicked "clear" when I intended to click "enter". The buttons should be reversed.
  • Dead end clicks. I can't stand to see a menu item like "Other Services", click on it, and then discover it says something lame like "Coming soon" or worse, that there are no other services currently available to me.
  • I don't like the menu item "Change account alias". It makes it sound like I'm a con man donning a new disguise.


We Want More Content!

  • I'd like to be able to view imaged copies of my checks and deposit slips.
  • Why can I only view the most recent month's statement online? Why can't there be a digital archive of at least a year?
  • It would be great to be able to search for a check I wrote by typing in the name of the payee and having it locate the check.
  • Can't we have some useful information on the page? I've never had anyone explain to me whether there's some easy way to balance a checkbook, or whether there are tips for keeping track of check card and ATM card uses. Shouldn't my bank be able to teach me those things through links on its site?
  • Is there some reason why you don't bother to tout your products on the online banking area? I'm there. You've captured my eyeballs. Don't you want to tell me something? It's like the cell phone companies. They never tell existing customers about their new plans. You have to be your own detective to find the best deals.


Communicate with me!

  • I never hear from my bank unless I've done something wrong.
  • Keep me informed via email about things I might want to know, such as new products, lower rates on loans, special rates on CDs.
  • A friend of mine gets informative emails from her bank every few months on things like protecting herself against identity thieves. I would like things like that, as long as they weren't too frequent.
  • If you're going to take the server down for maintenance, how about doing it during the day during the week? But even then, be sure to monitor your day time peak usage and select a time that falls well outside those times. If I can't log on to online banking during day time hours, at least I can contact someone by phone at the bank. When you're offline on the weekend, it can cause major problems for me.

RAVES

  • I use online banking all the time and love the fact that I can be on there in the middle of the night. It's very convenient.
  • I like being able to check my balance and see if my direct deposit has been received. I can do that while I'm talking on the phone.
  • My bank sends an email newsletter once a week. It always has a cute joke, current rates, and interesting information about our community. I look forward to receiving it.


So, what do you think? Are your customers ranting, or raving?

First published on BankersOnline.com 2/18/02

First published on 02/18/2002

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