Thursday, June 01, 2006
Online Banking Lock-in and the Double WAMU
And service has gotten worse with online banking. Today I was paying a stack of bills and after I'd entered about 10 payments I needed to check something so I stupidly hit the back arrow on my browser, which erased all my work. A minute after I tediously re-entered my payments the phone rang and I spoke for 10 or 15 minutes, just long enough for WAMU to give me more great online service by logging me off (I guess that's a double WAMU).
I would change banks tomorrow if I could somehow avoid having to re-enter the account and address information for the few dozen payees, because the thought of that wasted effort keeps me locked into a bank I have come to hate. I write and teach extensively about information modeling and interoperability and it just makes me angry to see how so often people get screwed by companies that don't give much thought to either, or that use proprietary data formats to lock them in.
Like Jon's bank, WAMU seems to make changes to its online banking that shift work to its customers. One that is particularly annoying is a recent change to the URL for the login page.
Old URL: https://login.personal.wamu.com/logon/logon.asp
New URL: https://login.personal.wamu.com/IdentityManagement/Logon.asp
So I needed to change the bookmark link. Some directive must have come down from on-high that required the programmers of the online banking system to put more emphasis on Identity Management rather than just logging-in. But couldn't they just use the same login page?
1) The ability to change bank accounts at while, and only have to change the settings in Yahoo's Bill Pay.
2) The ability to designate not when a payment is sent out, but when a payment arrives.
But the lesson is, I have to pay for it.
I've heard recently that BofA is using Yodlee and web services to do some interesting new things:
--see A Personal Finance Portal, Part I & II at www.line56.com