Saturday, November 24, 2012

Banks need to be careful with scheduled maintenance

On Black Friday evening (November 23, 2012) I checked some bank balances online and found that when I went to a UBS account, the main website worked, but when I went to the client login, I got a DNS error.  The client logins all occur on subdomains with prefixes to the “ubs”. 

I searched through my emails and called the 888 tech support number.  I was surprised that they were unaware of the problem until they tried it themselves, and got a blank screen (I think the call center is in Ohio).  Explanation, they must have been doing maintenance.

The logon did work late Friday evening and everything was OK.  But the moral of the story is this:  when banks do maintenance they should inform their customers online as well as their phone support customer service employees.  They shouldn’t just let abends or DNS errors or internal server errors happen.  Customers have good reason to wonder if sites are being hacked.

It would be a good idea for financial institutions to consider implementing two-step logons similar to that available for Google accounts.  One possible problem: the need for the banks to all have their own custom smartphone apps for such purposes. 

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