Why is online banking decades behind continental Europe? SouthLondonUser

#1
I was talking to some European colleagues and acquaintances about how online banking is different in their countries, and, well, it seems the UK is decades behind! I have changed a number of banks (HSBC, Natwest, Barclays, Santander, First Direct) and none makes the following tasks easy (in most cases, they're simply impossible):Downloading statements electronically. Natwest was probably the least worst; First Direct only lets me download the last few months, but doesn't seem to provide an option (or, if there is, it's well hidden and I haven't found it) to download the last few years in a csv or excel file. Surely in year 2017 this is not too much to ask?

When you make a wire transfer, no real receipt or confirmation is available, with any bank. Or, again, if it is available it's very well hidden! What I mean is that, if I make a payment of £ 100 to John Doe ltd, it is practically impossible for me to prove I have in fact made it, other than maybe by contacting the bank and being charged ridiculous fees for some piece of paper. My statement will only say that on day such and such I made a payment of £ 100 to John Doe ltd. but will not show the banking coordinates of the account it went to! Again, surely in 2017 this is not too much to ask? I have had problems with the managing agents of my block of flats who "couldn't find" my payments.

When making an online payment, why can I only specify so few characters in the reference? In most cases entering something like "Mr John Doe inv # 1234567XYZ" is impossible. Also, when I set up a payee I am asked to create a reference, but then if I want to create a different reference I have to rechange the details of the payee. This is idiotic: if you set up a new payee and want to pay two different invoices, you have to change the details of the payee every time!

Banks don't seem to check whether the name of the payee and the bank account number match. Most continental European banks do, and block the payment if there is a mismatch. I remember reading somewhere that an English bank had to specifically change its terms and conditions so that it could recover money sent erroneously to the wrong account.


Am I the only one who finds this ridicolous in 2017, in a time of big data, digital-this and digital-that? Or are there other banks which provide the services above?

#2
Reference often contain the account number to which the payment should be directed to.

So that is why you need to create a new payment mandate if you want to change the reference.

So a Building Society may have a central collection account and then your account No appears in the reference - change that reference it goes to someone else account.....



I'd be very interested in how checking is done in Europe.

How do you check the following account name: Prof H and Mrs GB Smith

So if I pay Mr and Mrs Smith does it go or not?

What about Prof and Mrs Smith?

how about H and B Smith?

I have not even started on the complicated account names like Dr P Jones and Ms H Smith

It ain't easy...



Following a Faster payment I can print the payment details for my record with my bank - So I print to PDF and store.

I agree there seems no facility to later call up the full details of the payment.

#3
But if I have to pay, say, 10 invoices to a payee, how is the payee to match and reconcile which is which? Surely the continental European system makes more sense?



I am told that in many countries bank accounts are simply in the name of Forename Surname, without any titles. Also, in some countries married women do not change their surname (as in, they are not legally allowed to). Checking whether account 123 really belongs to John Smith or Mario Lopez or Franz Herbert or whatever does not seem that complicated a task. Maybe there might be questions on how names with non-Latin characters are written, but I'd guess that in most cases it shouldn't be too complicated.

#5
I think your colleagues are exaggerating the benefits of European banking over the UK version. I'd imagine there are good and bad points of every bank's systems and every country's regulations, just as there are in the UK. Did they tell you that they probably have to pay for their accounts? Sounds to me like a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side".

#7



I think your colleagues are exaggerating the benefits of European banking over the UK version. I'd imagine there are good and bad points of every bank's systems and every country's regulations, just as there are in the UK. Did they tell you that they probably have to pay for their accounts? Sounds to me like a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side".
Originally posted by agrinnall


Not in every country are there charges for bank accounts. The competition of online banks has caused many banks to be more transparent in their fees, and to reduce them substantially in many cases. Plus, "free" banking in the UK is really the poor subsiding the better-off: the model is: no fees if you're not overdraft, fees often worse than payday lenders the moment you go overdraft by even a tiny amount. As someone who is never overdraft I benefit from the system, but this does not stop me from recognising it's unfair.



The UK introduced chip and pin before most European countries. But many European countries introduced two-step authentication way before the UK.

#9



Surely the continental European system makes more sense?
Originally posted by SouthLondonUser


I am a big Europhile, and in fact have a couple of current accounts over there. My first observation about your posts is that I don't believe that there is such a thing as a "continental European system" for banks. The commonality they have is literally the same commonality we have with them at present, in terms of SEPA, the Savings Directive, the deposit guarantee, Basel-regulations and such stuff.



There is, however, no common user interface nor have I come across a "receipt" function. One of my accounts has an ancient online system that even beats the First Direct system in the antiquities department. I never tried downloading statements as this isn't something that I have a requirement for.



Both my accounts are free of any charges, and have been so for many years. They also pay a big fat 0% interest, an area in which they could learn something from some British banks.

#10



Is this national pride speaking or do you know for a fact?
Originally posted by SouthLondonUser


Given that every system has its pros and cons it sounds like a realistic assessment of virtually any system, banking or otherwise.



Besides, they did say "I suspect."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron