Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…

Barclays Security Oddness

OK – so my new bank account has been setup and all the necessary security pins and paperwork were duly received. Awesomeness. I set up all the internet banking access and passwords while I was back in SA, but I forgot something this week, so I needed to call the bank to get access again.

The kind lady on the end of the line informs me that she will ask me some security questions before she can help me. Standard stuff, no worries. She tells me also that she can only accept my first answer to her of set of security questions. ‘Erm… OK. Like a quiz game?’ I ask her.’d0 I get to phone a friend?’ – Cue monotonic, deliberately faked laughter. Fair enough – it’s not like I am the first person to have asked her that.

Anyway – we roll on through the questions and so far, so good – I am on top form. Until she bowls a slower ball…

what is your sort code?

Erm what? Sorry, is that a security question? ‘yes sir – and I have to take your first answer’. I inform her that before I answer, I would not know that off the top of my head. ‘Sorry sir, I need the answer before I can proceed.’ I then tell her to hold on and I will quickly google it … 10 seconds later, I spit out the sort code and I am into my account.

Now that I am through the gate, she so fiercely defended, she is as friendly as pie. I inform her that I just googled the answer to one of her security questions. This did not invoke the slightest bit of bother in her. She was presented with a question, I gave the correct answer…

So what is to be learned in this little lesson? Always have internet access at the ready when trying to access secure banking websites over the phone – they might just throw up a question that google will answer quicker and more accurately than you can.


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