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Dude, Where are My Bills?

Went to pay my bills on EasyLine this morning and found the following on my Pay Bills page:

Dude, where are my bills?

Normally I would see about 35 different bills that I could pay. Today I wanted to pay my Bell or Telus bills, but they are not to be found.

Contacted TD via Twitter, who then told me to use their antiquated Secure Message system in EasyLine.

Never thought my list of bill payments was something I should keep a backup of ?

After checking my Phone TD Easyline App, more confusion. There seems to be a list of bills there, but it is very old and inaccurate? This one is an interesting one.

Pay My Bills

Dude, just want to pay bills! Where Dude, is TD.

Not Just Me?

Luckily Resolved

Luckily, the problem was resolved, and my bill list seems to have returned. I will make sure I have a backup copy.

Official TD Statement

We have been notified of an intermittent issue with some customer’s Bill Payees and Bill Payment function on EasyWeb. Please rest assured this issue has been escalated with high priority and our partners are working hard to resolve.

Message from TD Support

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How to Open a Kids Bank Account in the time of COVID

In these days of COVID, many bank services are not as easy as before. We are trying to open a bank account for my son. All we wanted to do was open a Kids Savings account, that would give him a bank access card too.

Our family has done allowances this way for a long time. We automate the money going to the child, as a weekly deposit to a no fee TD bank account. This method worked well with my daughters.

My son, being on the autism spectrum, we weren’t sure how this would work. Happily he has asked about banking and wishes to have an allowance, so we are now trying to open a bank account for him.

For Tangerine, you have two options:

  1. For a kid who is less than 16 years old you can open a straight savings account. This can be done over the phone. We didn’t want to use this because it would not include a bank access card.
  2. For a student 16 years and older they have a student chequing account. This comes with a bank card, however, my son is not old enough and he does not need chequing capabilities, yet. This is done on-line.

We decided we were going to try to create a TD Kids Savings account. I called Easyline and was told this can only be done at a bank branch face-to-face. This is how we did it for my daughters. I was hoping we could do this on-line or over the phone, but no, this is not possible.

To book a face-to-face meeting with our local branch, takes at least 2 weeks, thanks to COVID. All bank branches are running with smaller staffs, and they are not open for as long. Banks are closed on Sundays, during the pandemic.

I had to wait 2 weeks to open my son’s bank account. Patience is not something my son has mastered yet, so there was a lot of nagging on his part about his bank account.

Epilogue

Finally managed to set up the account, but a few interesting new wrinkles.

  1. The account is a TD bank account. This type of account no longer is automatically on my Easyweb. Previously all my older kids’ accounts were visible.
  2. Still a lot of “paper” work. The amount of physical paper in the banking system must make Domtar proud.

Addendum

A few folks have asked, I had to have 2 pieces of identification for my son. In our case we used a valid passport and his birth certificate.

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Banking Security

While trying to log into my Banking Web site (from a PC), after I had successfully remembered my log-in ID and password, something different happened. The site put up a Pop-up window saying it was testing security and wanted to send me a code to my Cell phone (or call me with the code).

After my initial confusion and then annoyance, I was heartened to see this kind of security come up. Banking security is very important, and the edge of the network (i.e. users logging in) are where the system is usually the weakest. The Desjardins Data breach is a good example of the need for banking security and data security.

Good Test ?

My hope is that this is simply a test, and you will see why.

After I realized I did not have my Cell phone handy, I simply cancelled out of the Security Message screen, which then took me back to the regular bank log-in screen. I thought for a second, and decided to see what would happen if I tried to log-in again. What I saw underwhelmed me. I was able to log-in, no problem, and no “challenge”.

My sincere hope is this is simply a test by my bank, because if I have been “challenged” for an alternate log in, I should not be allowed to log in after an initial failure. The application should continue to challenge me, until I pass the challenge, or until I fail a set number of times. Once someone fails I would hope my account access would be locked.

Banking Security ?

My hope is this is my bank attempting to test out new security for authentication (without enabling 2 factor authentication), and when they do a full roll-out, the rules will be stricter. I like the concept, but if this is how it will work it isn’t a great data protection system.

More Banking Security Resources

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What Makes Banks Different ?

I have run across a few interesting things that caused me to wonder what exactly are the banks in Canada doing to make folks want to be their customers? Given they continue to have enormous profit margins, do banks differentiate themselves in Canada?

All of the banks advertise (I don’t have their numbers spent on advertising, but no bank in Canada does NOT advertise). You can see some of the ads on this very web site some times, so they must have very deep advertising pockets, I do like the TD ads with the cranky old men, but that wouldn’t cause me to change banks for that reason alone.

Cheques

The first thing I noticed while collecting dues for a basketball team is that  I received 4 cheques from different parents, but I noticed the cheque design for all 4 cheques were EXACTLY the same, even though they came from 3 different banks. The security patterns on the cheques were exactly the same (I compared them under a strong light), the differences were:

  1. Bank Information about which bank this is, address and logo
  2. Customer information (name and such)
  3. What was included in the MICR lettering at the bottom of the cheque

Other than that, there is no difference in the cheque.  In fact most of the banks use the same printer for cheque designs they simply order them, and thus this service is the same.

On Line Bank Interface

This is very different in terms of who designed the interface and such, but my guess is the “back end” of the software is exactly the same. What you can do is remarkably the same, typically there is a lot of advertising around it to get you to try new services with the bank.

Tomorrow, we continue this interesting case study.

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Old Financial Technology Habits Die Hard

For the longest time, I refused to deposit cheques in the ATM (after reading horror stories about stolen cheques and the like, from nefarious false fronts that steal cheques). Still, after a while, I started using this technology (usually because the lines for the tellers were so long). I have written previously about not wanting to use my home WiFi (and never use public WiFi) for online banking, just because I am that kind of paranoid guy. Still, I find myself doing most of my online banking using my laptop, connected via WiFi (but not public WiFi). Am I a lover of old financial technology only?

old financial technology
Old Technology?

Last night I caught myself in another one of my “still thinking like a cranky old guy” habits, and that was taking cheques with me to work so that I could deposit them on the way home at the ATM at the bank. I dutifully went out of my way to stop at the bank and deposit the cheques, but since TD has gone to a new ATM interface, I wondered why I wasn’t doing the “take a photo of the cheque” deposit method?

The TD ATM is simply photographing the cheque and ‘parsing’ it (although they also keep the cheques, although I have no idea whether the darn things are archived or just shredded after a few days), the same methodology as if I was using my phone. Why didn’t I use my phone? The only explanation I can give is old habits die hard, and I keep forgetting about some features available from my bank.

I still feel some paranoia, so I tend to photograph my cheques with WiFi turned off and using my Cell Phone Providers network (which is marginally more secure), but I have to remember that the feature exists in the first place.

Old financial technology was helpful at the time, but maybe it is time for me to move on.

Old Financial Technology

Remember the core of banking is still based on COBOL, and will for a long time to come.

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