St George online security questioned

St George Bank is aggressively promoting its Internet banking facility and may be compromising customer security in the process, according IT website ZDnet.

Customers who request a replacement card also get a letter with a PIN, urging them to use the phone and Internet facilities.
If the letter and PIN are opened by someone other than the account-holder, this person would only need to get the card number to misuse an account.

St George's Rebecca Taylor says that the lag between the arrival of the letter and the card should prevent any fraud occurring. She also says that card numbers never appear on statements or correspondence. But to negate any anxiety the bank is offering to compensate any customers for losses resulting from fraudulent misuses of the system.

St George says that mailing ATM card PINs and the cards shortly afterwards is standard banking practice. Activating these ATM cards requires an identification process and the customer divulging his account password. The bank doesn't require additional customer verification for the Internet banking PIN, however, and doesn't think that this would be in the customer's best interests, saying that people see having to visit a bank branch as an inconvenience.

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