[LINK] not having a mobile phone

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Sun Oct 11 19:10:50 AEDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 12:25 AM, Danny Yee <danny at anatomy.usyd.edu.au>wrote:

> This is with uBank.  The online process claims they use "public
> databases" to do the verification and will contact the applicant if
> that fails.  People without mobile phones have to ring the bank and
> can't sign up online.

I can't comment on the uBank verification process (I didn't need to go
through that as I was already a customer of their parent, NAB).

However on one call with them recently they did tell me that I had to give
them my mobile phone number.  I do have an Australian mobile phone number,
but it's only turned on when I'm in the country, which is no more than a few
weeks each year, so I claimed I didn't have one.  They then claimed that it
wasn't optional - it was part of their security mechanism for their new
online banking, and thus they had to have one.

Eventually it literally got to the point where I asked them to close my
account and take my money elsewhere before they finally gave in and let me
get away without one.

NAB also have a similar requirement for online banking.  If your account
isn't configured for to use SMS for confirmation of transfers then there is
a relatively small limit on what you can transfer between accounts that
aren't yours (around $1000 I think).  The irony is that their alternative
for people living overseas is for you to setup a "fax authority", and then
fax them your requests.  Their primary level of authentication on the fax is
the fax number it's sent from - you know, that number you get to enter when
you setup the fax machine!  If there was ever anything which was trivial to
forge, that's it...

Of the 3 NAB branches I've delt with, 2 were happy to have an authority form
which stated "any fax number", with specific instructions to call me and
confirm all transfers.  The third outright refused and would only rely on
the security of the sending fax number.  Suffice to say the account at that
branch was moved to one of the others.


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