Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog



I’ve been a satisfied customer with smile, the Internet bank, for years. They pay decent interest on a current account, cash-back on the credit card, and their email-based customer service is normally helpful and fairly efficient.

My first grievance with them was when I added Phyllis to my credit card last year. They didn’t give her a separate pin number, and when she tried to change it away from mine, the card was swallowed and had to be replaced.

More importantly, when I asked them to add Phyllis to my current account, we discovered a major flaw in their system: You log on to their system using your account number and two passwords. However, these passwords are defined by the account number, so the only way Phyllis can log on is to ask me for my passwords. This is a major breach of security in my book – one should never tell one’s passwords to anybody. It’s also illogical – some of the passwords (or rather, secure information) are things like place of birth and first school, but she’s unlikely to find my first school as memorable as I do.

Furthermore, this system also means she gains access to the accounts I haven’t shared with her, such as my cash ISA. I don’t mind too much about that in this particular case, but it’s rather absurd that she can access my ISA while I can’t access hers.

Why haven’t they implemented a normal username system, so that we could have separate usernames (and passwords) while accessing a joint account?

Update (28/2): When Phyllis recently logged onto smile’s website using the details for her personal current account, our joint account suddenly appeared, too. So now the problem is solved, it seems, although I still wonder what they’d’ve done if she hadn’t had an account with already.

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