HSBC Online Security
Online banking with HSBC became a bit secure - for now I think. It was a few months ago that my Credit Card got cloned. It was the main card I used for my online banking transactions. My card - it was recorded - was used to buy petrol from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru and then it was used for some extravagant dinner somewhere in Semenanjung while I was in Sarawak. The HSBC phone representative was very helpful (by calling me immediately) in informing me what will happen next - that I will not be charged for those transactions. Yup - that was fast action.
Now they have put on some more thinking hats and became more creative. Recently they introduced a small Security Device Gadget. Its good if the banks try to keep up by introducing these latest anti crooks procedures. Some people (and crooks) are just too clever when it comes to trying to get things for free - trying to outsmart the latest security technology. But maybe that is how crooked minds work. If you are into Internet business - buying and selling, I would say the banks that has the most advanced security features (so far that I know of) are HSBC and Maybank2U. Both HSBC and Maybank2U online security basically work in the same way for any online transactions. With the HSBC gadget you will always get a 6 digit number from the device which needs to be keyed in when you make an Internet transaction with your credit card. Without the code, the Internet transaction will be denied.
Info on the Device
Security Device In a Box
Small and cute
In Maybank's case, you will have to activate the TAC at the ATM machine - which is a one time activation, for any Internet transactions. TACs need to be renewed after a certain period and that is done by clicking on the TAC link in the banks website - and an SMS will arrive to give you that new 6 digit code. Information regarding your transactions will also be sent to your handphone via SMS. Its the handphone number that you register at the ATM Machine - so make sure that whenever you change your handphone numbers you have to update that at the Maybank ATM Machine.
Of course there are weaknesses in the various features introduced. If the smart crooks use your credit card infos via PayPal or other online payment methods - you are still vunerable. However I still like the way HSBC handles your Internet transactions - each time some online transaction is being done they will call your handphone at the time you click 'OK' to purchase things on the Internet be it only for US$3 purchases. I would want to test their alertness by making some transactions at 3 a.m in the morning next time. So with HSBC online banking don't try to go to those 'cheeky cheeky' websites and purchase things - or you will get a surprise call from HSBC reps (who maybe giggling and laughing behind the phone) trying to validate your purchase : "Sir, can you verify that you have made a purchase for a 3 days subscription of Spank Me Hard Streaming Video website?" and in panic you may have to reply "No, I think my pet dog did it..... its mating season now you see, and I locked him up, so he must have borrowed my card to look for online mates - thanks for telling me about my credit card, now I know where to find it... bad dog!". Don't be bugged by these calls (as long as they are not telemarketeers) - its for your own good. Anyway, we have to congratulate these banks for making our online banking transactions a bit safer.
More work for our Priest ;)