This is my internet banking experience with Canara bank and all customers should be aware of the fitfalls one could encounter. I have an SB a/c with Canara Bank from the 1970’s and such I have never had a serious problem, (as u can see from my topic on ‘’Demand Drafts from Canara Bank’’ the usual irritants have always been sorted out quickly as the staff in this branch all these years have been mild mannered polite people (even though @ times plain sloppy) . The only time in the past I had a problem was with the manager of the bank who refused to give me a cheque book of 25 cheques as I wanted to give it as PDC’s to ICICI bank :) ( I learnt later on, he was a frustrated chap who had been forced to take ‘VRS’ ) or when they miss spelt my name on my ATM/debit card and wanted to charge me for a correction made, when I went to the senior manager this was sorted..
But that was minor compared to my recent experience and is relevant to ALL customers of this bank. This bank has been has been advertising in my branch about ’Internet Banking’ since I have experienced that with ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank I thought it would be convenient to have this facility. I downloaded the form from their website and submitted it with all the details. After about 2 weeks I received the login name & password in separate envelopes thru 2 different couriers, which at that time looked like a very prudent move by the bank. After I logged in for the first time and viewed my a/c details I got a shock of my life when I noticed the a/c details WERE NOT MINE. The a/c details were of one of my family members (we had submitted our forms together). Since this was my family member’s confidentiality was not really compromised. But where were my a/c details.
1. Have my a/c details been assigned to somebody else’s login? (The bank seems to be ignorant of this & as yet not given me a conclusive reply yet)
2. Even after (whenever that happens) this has been corrected what guarantee that my details or for that matter my family members a/c details r not displayed in somebody’s login. I will never know unless somebody complains !!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. The worst thing is, for this to happen, u need not even apply for ‘internet banking’, this can happen to any customer who has a a/c in any branch which has the facility of ‘internet banking’. Let me explain. As each branch starts to offer this facility (which is centralised). The details u give in the form is entered into the system (even though it exists @ the branch level). As the login names & passwords r generated it is connected to an a/c. This work has been outsourced to ‘Sify Ltd’ in Bangalore. I presume these mistakes have crept into the system here. (As the local bank system works fine, pass book updation etc) which means whenever somebody applies for this facility a login name & password is generated & connected to an a/c number from that branch. Just PRAY TO GOD that it’s the correct number AND not ur a/c number J, u will never know !!!!
The sad part is this entire episode has highlighted my suspicion that this banks system is really not geared up for the challenges which r thrown up by the advent of technology. U can never know who else can see ur bank details over the internet & what they can possibly do DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY HIGHLIGHTING. The banks employees were quite ignorant of the significance of this error, its only when I spelt out to the manager what can really be done by someone who has access to my bank details, they realized the enormity of the error Needless to say after that the shock & horror was very contagious. They as usual told me that I am the first one to face this problem so its not rampant.!!!! I shot down these usual silly platitudes with ‘ I would not complain if I have criminal tendencies AND have access to somebody’s a/c !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have as a precaution shifted ALL my money (only left the minimum balance) from my sb a/c as well as FD’s from this branch. This action really removed all doubts from the manager’s mind about the seriousness of the situation. This is also being done by ALL my family members as a precaution. as we all had applied for this facility at the same time. I intend to write to the head office of Canara bank as well as RBI so that they r aware what ‘security’ is being followed by banks with the data u give them AND ur money. Looks like there r no checks and balances in their system to verify the data entered. Even the first, middle & last name appear in the field for the ‘First name’ & the tel no. appears in the field for the ‘last name’. This just goes to show what data verification is carried out at the field level. (How can u allow numbers to be filled into a field, which should allow only characters). (In case of companies a different data entry form could have been used, for the technically inclined)
I WRITE THIS ARTICLE TO HIGHTLIGHT A PROBLEM I AM FACING, WHICH CAN BE FACED ANYDAY BY U. the only way to get around this problem is (short of closing ur a/c) , believe it or not is to apply for the internet banking when ur branch offers it. I know it sounds like nonsense. The reason is simple.
In the old days to commit a fraud u had to gain physical access to ur cheque book, ledger etc (so u could afford not to update ur passbook for many months @ a time) but now with networking u can do this (commit fraud) from anywhere, by just gaining access into the system. So I would suggest u go in for this ‘facility’ so that u can periodically check ur a/c from ur home or work place (if its allowed) and take remedial measure as soon as necessary. Of course I never bargained for this level of sloppiness from a big bank as this, they have given a whole new meaning to the term ‘internet security’. I hope u find this article useful & BE WARNED .
It’s 2 weeks since I complained but no response to my complaint except platitudes.
UPDATE 6-6-05 Got a call from the branch manager today who tells me that the problem will soon be solved !!!!! WOW thats what u call SPEEDY SERVICE
UPDATE 18-6-05 Today I can see my OWN account & I see my name has been spelled wrongly ?????. Hope to get that rectified soon. :)
UPDATE: 1-9-05 Above mentioned problems have been solved, but another has cropped up. My details as seen on the net are NOT upto date. Have to go & kick some butt.