Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chase Online: The Invisible 'Net Hurdles

by Bruce Simmons :

Chase Online Hurdles
or
Are they trying to simplify online tracking use?

My Primary Issue:
I was trying to log into a Chase account and it seems that keeping meticulous records on passwords is not enough. If you get another computer, or new browser, or new operating system, you have to call each time to get an "activation" code. So much for ease of use.

When I questioned someone on the other end of the line, I could have sworn the guy said 'patron act', but I think he probably said patriot act. Basically, the Patriot Act forces banks to create protective measures in dealing with customer log ins. In Chase's account, they use Java applications to verify the user, and as we've discovered, it links to the computer, browser, operating system combination. What this means is that any time you change one of these, you need to request an activation code.

Now, if I log in from a different computer, or even a different web browser, I will have to go through a hoop or two to log on to my account. Which I surmise, to Chase Online, means they think I have 18 different computers.

Obviously the Patriot Act can be interpreted differently, because my other online banking choice does not give me these hurdles. I can log in from anywhere, anyhow any way and I am fine.

My Secondary Issue
My second issue is created by myself and my own security measures. I block various processes from operating freely on my computer, like Java scripts. I'm alerted when a script wants to run and I have the option to let it or not. Because these security features use Java, I've created a secondary hurdle for myself, so that's on me.

I've also trained my firewall to not allow spurious connections to occur without asking me. But in this instance of interacting with Chase Online, it took the initiative and just didn't ask me and blocked some interaction with the Java scripts from the bank. Good boy!! Sort of. Eesh.

The Bright Side
The Chase Visa staff went at my problem quite aggressively and did their job well, even if I was the one that figured it out, but they can't know everything about each computer.

Lesson for the day:
At least for Chase, you should probably log in from the same computer and the same browser each and every time. For most people, this is not an issue, but for the person who might have access to more than one computer, this is for you!

That was a fun 31 minutes. Hope this saves you some time down the road!!


One person told me that:
We have been having a lot of trouble accessing our Chase online accounts over the last 2 months. Today I called Chase Online support and was told to 'lower my security settings'. What???? No thanks - we'll find another bank.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce