Are First Direct Introducing A “Secure Key” Widget?

An interesting comment was left by Oliver Nash on our post about HSBC’s Secure Key widget, which has been introduced to add an extra layer of security when accessing internet banking, but has annoyed many HSBC online bankers.

The comment suggests that a similar tool might be introduced by First Direct, owned by HSBC.

First Direct ARE bringing them in – in 6 months. I just asked. And I predict a nightmare. They don’t really seem to care – and the person I spoke to agreed that the number of people reverting to phone banking will rocket.

It would be interesting to see how First Direct, with their reputation for excellent customer service, would manage the fallout from introducing a similar tool to HSBC’s which has gained such widespread dislike.

We’ve reached out to First Direct to see if they do indeed intend to introduce another layer of security such as Secure Key.

The main issues with HSBC’s Secure Key have not been that it adds another layer of data to enter, but that it is inconvenient to have to carry it around, meaning you’re unlikely to have it on you when out and about and needing to check your balance, and there’s a chance that if the battery goes or in the event of a fault with it you’ll be left without access to your accounts. There’s also no option to opt-out of receiving it and accepting the risk of online banking without it.

Of course, First Direct may have other things on their mind, perhaps a smartphone app or an opt-out process, or different levels of login, requiring greater authentication when completing key transactions, such as transfers. They’re generally more innovative than other banks (even their parent, HSBC), but they may have learned a useful lesson from HSBC’s experiences.

If you’re a First Direct customer, you may be interested to have a look at the First Direct Lab, where they look to gather feedback on their new ideas and test-drive brand new First Direct innovations before they release them, so you can tell them exactly what you think and have your say right from the start. If they are planning on introducing a new online banking tool, you’d hope that it would appear on the Lab to gather yet more feedback from users before launch.

Here’s HSBC’s recent advert explaining why they’ve introduced the Secure Key:

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One thought on “Are First Direct Introducing A “Secure Key” Widget?

  1. I love First Direct but this secure key is a nightmare and I am seriously considering leaving them because of it.

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