Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Tatra Banka: Beating a Dead Horse

Tatrabanka Card Reader Minicitacka borrowed from
The creative folks at Tatrabanka are back, this time with a new card reader device. They have listened to the multitude of user complaints (so far even heeded my warning about single-sided moves). So they have introduced a key-ring card reader (called a minicitacka) as an alternative to the calculator-size reader (without calculator functionality).

Well, guess what, Tatrabanka: people hated your heavy handed tactics in introducing increased security with massively increased hassle and judging by the discussion with the eTrend article (in Slovak) announcing the new device, adding a key ring isn't enough to make things OK.

The images published by Tatrabanka are limited, but from the instructions it appears this little wonder is controlled by the combination of a dialing wheel and a button. Must be fun to dial and button in a 12-digit account number followed by say four digits for the amount to transfer...

If your sentimentometer tells you I am too harsh on Tatra Banka, check out what this poor American thinks about using the calculator.

My pledge holds: if you make me sign in using this ugly little device (or its dysfunctional larger twin), I will close my accounts with you (all six).

And a side note, just to get this off my chest: in mid-February I came to a Tatra Banka branch to deposit a cheque from the USA. We receive checks from our US partner at every month and Tatra Banka has happily charged us 400 crowns (approx. EUR 13.30) for depositing each for five years.

Suddenly, the teller announced that as of February 1 they no longer allow depositing checks in accounts. What should I do with the check, I asked. "Mmmm, do you have an account at another bank?" No, I don't (but soon I likely will). Well, then I don't know.

A brief lesson in customer service, dear Tatrabanka: if you want to discontinue a service that some of your long-term clients use (even if the service itself is loss-making, since I imagine that is the reason to discontinue it), notify them in advance. Someone at Tatrabanka should have pulled up a list of customers who deposited a check in the last say 24 months. Someone should have taken the time to contact them (phone, email, internet banking) and give them an advance warning of say a month or two, so that they can talk to their correspondents and arrange for alternative means of payment. It's not so hard to do and all it takes is a bit of customer-centric thinking. Sadly, the one-time leader in banking innovation in Slovakia has little capacity for that.


Ján Laurenčík said...

You have to pay extra for small "citacka", otherwise you will get big "citacka". :)

Tobias Ratschiller said...

Their Internet banking sucks so much I cannot describe.

Not only the card reader sucks, the whole concept sucks.

I counted.

To make a transfer, you type in
- 1 ID
- 1 password
- 1 card reader code
- 1 sum of the transfer to card reader
- 1 destination account to the card reader
- 1 card reader code

Are they kidding?

I'm not even mentioning that you don't see from WHO a payment is when it's you receive an international transfer. That seems to be standard in SK.

Suck suck suck.

Good that the captcha here reads "exhale".


Tatra Banka Internet Banking said...

There's got to be a better way to deal with this than an annoying card reader. SMS verification codes aren't such a terrible idea, though sometimes those won't work either.