An idea for banks

Last month I posted a sta­tus update about how Bank of America froze my credit card after an $18 pur­chase for Alfred’s Powerpack. The pur­chase was a UK-based trans­ac­tion which appar­ently was too much for a Visa card to handle.

It gave me an idea though. What if a bank gave its cus­tomers the abil­ity to set a thresh­old for fraud­u­lent activ­ity? The bank would let me say, “Do not freeze my card for any pur­chases below this dol­lar amount.” Seems easy enough.

If my card or account infor­ma­tion was stolen I really wouldn’t be wor­ried about an $18 pur­chase. What I’m con­cerned about is some­one steal­ing my infor­ma­tion and going on a shop­ping spree at an Apple store. If they want to drop $18 to sup­port an indie soft­ware com­pany that’s fine by me.

While ide­ally I’d like to not be liable for an $18 fraud­u­lent pur­chase I don’t need my account frozen because of it. Send me a non-urgent email or a text mes­sage but don’t cut off my access.

A First Look at BankSimple. This was posted back in September but I just got a chance to really watch it. Beyond the sexy inter­face the mes­sage is tremen­dous. “We shouldn’t be doing math in front of the com­puter. The com­puter ought to be doing math for us.” That’s the kind of bank I’d like to have.

Recipe for bank­ing fail: Require users to enter an autho­riza­tion code when log­ging in from an unfa­mil­iar com­puter. Deliver the autho­riza­tion code via email. Reject the autho­riza­tion code sent by your bank’s sys­tem because it does not con­tain any letters.

I’m now in a bank­ing ghetto and can’t log in to my Chase account any­more because their web form doesn’t trust their email script. Nice. When does BankSimple launch again?