29 July 2014

It can be the simple thing

Do you have one of these?
It's a "secure key" for logging on with internet banking. I've recently had a LOT of practice with it, trying to make an extra payment on my credit card.

First I was puzzled by having to enter my secure PIN (this turned out to be my "usual" PIN), and along the way messed up with entering it correctly - honestly, four numbers, how difficult can that be?

Then I mistyped the number it generated, or my password - or both! - and it was back to Square One. Several times.

Then, working from the account and reference details given by the card company, I got as far as thinking the payment was made ... only to be redirected to Square Two by a message saying the account was already set up, go back and make it through that channel.

Having found the right card from a sequence of drop-down lists, I followed the instructions and got as far as verifying the payment - using the Secure Key. And that's where the fun started.

No matter how carefully I entered the (long) password on screen - or the 4-digit code on the Key, error messages abounded - so many times that a phonecall to the bank was needed. And they are very helpful and patient there - back and forth to technical support, and after all the usual things failed and a rogue screen full of html appeared and couldn't be got rid of, I got to talk to the tech support person myself.

She took me back to absolute basics [humiliating? maybe...] and we logged off and logged on again, etc etc...

But you know there's going to be A Moment Of Revelation ... it came with the 4-digit code needed for the Key. Reading "reference" in the instructions - and having a bank reference number - well, I used that. But right next to the word reference was "/card number" ... and, you guessed it, I should have been typing in the last four digits of my credit card number, to which the payment was headed. DUH!

The take-home message ... should you find yourself in a loop of escalating frustration like this ... really is: start all over again. Re-read all the instruction - pay attention!

A tip that might come in handy, if you're using this payment system: if the payment goes to an individual, ie into their bank account, it's the account number that's the "reference number". If the payment goes to a card, it's the card number. Simple - isn't it.

1 comment:

Linda Bilsborrow said...

When it works ...

But imagine you are 92 when you get hold of one of these things, even if your sight is good enough, even if your fingers are nimble enough ... do the numbers you need stay on screen long enough? They certainly do not. I can't imagine what will happen to on-line banking when those of us who are (Just about) young enough to cope now, gain a decade or more!