March 23, 2023

Why Do Banks Suck At The Internet?

If you’ve ever done any online banking, you’re probably familiar with the whole concept of wish it was 2 factor authentication. Basically it’s their attempt to implement the “something you have (atm card) plus something you know (pin #)” idea on the internet. The only problem is, it uses something you know (password) and something you most likely will forget (grandpa’s nickname, pet’s name, business street name, or favorite mersenne prime)

Well my bank did something similar. They asked me for questions a very long time ago. Unfortunately they didn’t let me pick the questions, so I was forced to make up a pet name at a time I didn’t have a pet (among other things.)
Last Wednesday they finally presented me with one of these questions. It was the company street name one. Of course I have no idea when I filled this out, and haven’t used it for a LONG time so I couldn’t remember if it was Troy Center, General Drive, South Street, or Meyer.

I tried Troy Center. That wasn’t it. Restart… Oh shit I’m locked out.

Not only was I locked out, there’s no number to call, address to email, or automated form to get me unlocked.

Here it is 5 days later and I’m still locked out of my account. I just called the bank and to get unlocked it requires me to go in to the bank in person, and then for them to call another company to unlock my account. Ridiculous!

I also just noticed that everybody can login with their account #, and account numbers are sequential. Given that it only takes one improper try to lock an account, it would be very trivial to write a program that locks out every user simultaneously. It’s a good thing for them I’m not feeling mischievous today.

On a side note, mint is working fine now and it’s a great program. Try it out! I’m also liking another techcrunch runner up called Cake Financial. It’s like mint but for investment accounts. Those 2 should really combine.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website:


  1. Ryan-

    Steve Carpenter, the Founder and CEO of Cake, here. Thanks for the mention and for checking out the site. Cake wants to be the antidote to all of your banking frustrations by giving you actionable, value-added information regarding your investments in a secure, web-friendly environment.

    Give it a try and let us know what we can do better.


  2. Ryan,

    Not a bad idea about Mint and Cake getting together. That would be, shall we say…sweet.

    Steve and I do know each other (hey Steve!) and we’ll see how things go.

    And thanks for the post on CEOs caring about blogs. It’s not so much blogs per se, but that we truly care about customers, and blogs often give us the most accurate representation. We also do a lot of in-house usability studies, but those are semi-skewed since it’s a slightly artificial environment.

    Aaron Patzer
    Founder & CEO,