Thursday, September 8, 2011

Confessions of an Online Banking Novice

I sometimes participate in focus group discussions (FGDs) – hey, the money’s good for simply giving up a little bit of your time to easily talk about your thoughts and opinions (without the compulsion and pressure in recitations) and there’s even food sometimes! Anyway, I was recently invited to take part in an FGD on online banking. I failed to qualify, however, because I don’t really do online banking. And I realized that I really preferred it that way. It’s so hard for me to fathom the thought of having that information and control of my finances available at my fingertips and, possibly, others’. It just seems so risky and scary. I know that this information is probably available over the internet anyway, but only within the bank’s secure network and only to the authorized employees of the bank (or so we’re made to believe). And, even though the information is supposedly only made available to me (again, through a secure network), the fact that it’s available to someone outside the bank itself increases the risk of it being accessed by someone else. And we’re talking about actual money here. So I think that my fears are somewhat rational.
I know that products of ICT have also caused the world of finance to involve i.e. ATMs, credit cards, debit cards, and what not. But these processes still seem safer because you still possess a means of physical control over a step in the process, which is the processing of the card. In online banking, I also know that I still retain control over a step in the process, in the entry of passwords. But it just seems less tangible and, thus, makes it seem more easy to overcome (even though I, myself, have no clue how to do it).
But, maybe a time will come when this service becomes so much more convenient to use that the benefits of using it will far outweigh the risks and the fear that comes with it. It’s just like learning to ride a bike…but I’ll keep the training wheels on for now till I’m more comfortable with dealing with the fear of falling.

Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #12.
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