Today I received a package through snailmail about a new version of the ebanking application of Dexia … quickly I opened it, tried it, and … was very disappointed!
// RANT ON!
The good old Net Banking
Before “Dexia Direct Net” there was “Net banking”. A Java applet by which the client could do all his bank-stuff. It was a Java applet that ran in the browser and by using a floppy with some userdata on (it could be saved on the hard disk too) and a very big password (uppercase and lowercase and numbers were required) one could do it all from a handy interface as seen below (not my screenshot though since I can’t launch it anymore after the install of Dexia Direct Net)
The interface itself was straightforward and only the first menu item “Uw Rekeningen” (“Your accounts”) was actually needed to wire some money, view the status of your accounts, etc. By clicking it, one could see a nice overview of all his accounts underneath eachother grouped by regular accounts and saving accounts. Next to each account there were some icons to quickly wire some money, view the history, etc.
Whilst viewing the history, one could easily click the wire some money button, enter the amount and the recepient and confirm it by again typing in the password. One could also set up many transfers at once (even from different accounts) and cofirm them all at once. Usability was top-notch : straight forward interface which let the user do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it.
Newer isn’t always better!
Now, as mentionned before I got this package from Dexia today. The box contained a letter guiding it all and a Digipass 810 as seen below. The actual thing differs a bit from the screenshot, and Dexia calls it the “Dexia Card Reader”.
The Card Reader itself works on a challenge response system: enter your card, type in the challenge code as seen on the netbanking startup screen, enter your pin and you’ll get a response code in return which you have to enter in the Dexia Direct Net interface. Quite secure indeed, but not that handy because:
- Everytime you launch DDN, you have to find your wallet, pull out the correct card (I myself have 4 cards), insert it in the thing, go to the DDN interface, type in the 8 digit challenge code, type in your PIN code (4 digits) and then type over the 8 digit code into the DDN interface
- Everytime I want to confirm a transfer of money, I have to do that all again
Now, this is not user friendly at all!
- What if I left my wallet in the car (as I usually do)?
- What if my card is scratched and I urgently have to wire some money?
- What if the batteries of the darn thing are dead?
- What if I have big fingers and can’t type in the challenge code on it?
- Why are there an INFO and M2 button on it, if I have to press M1 all the time to start it up?
Other than that I can think of some more scenarios and questions:
- My parents have an account which they share. My dad booted up the DDN thing on his PC, but my mum cannot access the account because she has a card for that account herself (different card number). How can she now access the account without using my dad his card?
- Speaking of my mom who can only e-mail and use net banking : will she ever understand how to do this all herself? Very steep learning curve imo!
- If the whole login procedure is based on the card and card number, why can I access all my accounts by entering only one card? (though I don’t want that to change, but I wonder why)
- What if somebody copies my card? Yes, he’d still have to know my PIN, but what if someone cracks open the card reader and isolated the PIN verification thing … can’t he than do a reversal of that and create a pincracker? Keygenerators for programs are created like that, so it is possible. And given that the PIN only ranges from 0000 to 9999 it can be done real quick by bruteforcing…
- How is this an improvement to the old system where you had a floppy and a secret code? Now you only have your PIN which is really secret…
Interface in my face…
Now, enough ranting on the card reader thing, let’s crack down the user interface itself a bit 😛
The first screen on gets to see is the loginscreen, where you have to do that thing with that challenge code. Luckely for the user, the card number itself (underneath the example card) is saved so that one does not have to enter that. Something that immediately jumps in is the color palette … hope it gets better after this screen…
So I do the whole procedure and after 2 tries I’m finally in and … oh my, that ain’t better … and look at that crappy transfer icon! Other than that : were is my savings account? Can’t I access that one?
(And yes, I did actually change the account numbers and amounts in that pic).
When clicking on an account number (063-…) one goes to the history part for that account. The left menu folds open and highlights that one is located there. In that left menu one can also see the option to wire some money on the same level of the history item. When clicking that, DDN seems to forget which account you were checking and you have to manually select your account again. The interface to wire some money doens’t look appealing to me … mainly again the colors, the icons and buttons.
Yet still, I find the interface confusing. I found myself clicking around way too much to actually do something.
Anywho, enough ranting since I’ve actually merely touched DDN. Though, first impressions are hard to erase out of the memory.
Hoping that Dexia does something about the ugly UI and the complicated loginprocedure.
// RANT OFF!