PNC Bank and Online Banking Security

We have been with National City Bank since 2003, and were happy with them through those years. Since the acquisition and change-over to PNC Bank, things have generally been fine.

Last year, the local bank branches went through physical ‘cosmetic’ changes sometime back in November 2009. It was refreshing to see bright new signs outside the buildings. Inside, there are new LCD TVs and friendly smiles. The quality of customer service is top-notch. The best part of all, is the smooth integration of account numbers. When filling out deposit and withdrawal slips, we are still allowed to use our old National City account number, because frankly the PNC number is longer and more difficult to memorize. Thank you, PNC, for being understanding and considerate.

In terms of the Online Banking component, we are not as impressed. The system switch-over has not been as smooth. We encountered a number of annoyances and short-comings. But the biggest and most troubling thus far is the security question element.

PNC Bank Security default to Yes for Remember computer

The implementation of the security question feature could use a little more thought, because as society perform more and more money management tasks through the Web, odds are high that we may use a number of different computers. Accessing online banking through the office desktop computer at work, through the corporate-owned laptop while on the road, as well as using the home desktop machine along with perhaps a more portable netbook computer while sitting out in the backyard. Therefore, PNC Bank should NEVER present the security question page to users with it defaulting to “Yes” for the step “Would you like us to remember this computer?”. It ought to default to “No”, thereby requiring the user an additional conscious mouse-click to explicitly change that to a “Yes” answer.

A simple gesture like the above tells us a lot about PNC’s priority on security and web safety best practices. We hope to hear your comments, as well as any response directly from PNC Bank.

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