Security Vs Ease of Use

Today I witnessed one of my friends call First Direct after getting a new iPhone to be extremely frustrated having to set to reset his passwords as he had totally forgotten them. Anyone who’s ever been with First Direct will understand. Once he was finally in, he was even more frustrated trying to enter the required security code just to set up a direct debt. I tired to get him to join Monzo, however, he was not willing saying “he liked his bank”. Even after going through all that.


The thing is, a lot of this isn’t even security, just security theatre. Good security is invisible to the user in many cases.

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It’s very noticeable that, despite the paper-centric registration process and the formidable password / key code arrangement, First Direct has a very strong following.

Whilst I’m committed to mobile banking, I am reassured to have FD as a backup. The customer service is regarded as being as good as it gets. The heavyweight security doesn’t put folk off.

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I left First Direct and went all in with monzo. Agreed, they have excellent customer service. That’s what will keep a lot of customers.

I’m a customer of about 8 years with First Direct.

Their app and phone security is a nightmare to use until you get your head around it. I cheat. I use 1Password to remember important stuff for me. My wife gets very grumpy every time she forgets security info with FD.

But, their customer service is so good I just haven’t found better (nearly went to Handelsbanken, a few years ago).

I used CASS to move my FD account to B (Yorkshire/Clydesdale) as they had the £250 bribe. Once they’ve paid me that (due this week), I shall be using CASS to return to FD.

I would move fully to Starling or Monzo if either would look at what RBS and FD apps do and then implement something better. I do worry about the state of Starling and Monzo customer service. The former, in my experience, is terrible. The latter is OK but not as good as FD.

Fact is, customer service is extremely important to many customers.


That’s not cheating! That’s the best way to do it :wink:


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