Aggravation over more complicated account access gets bigger

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One month after the entry into force of the new rules, the number of daily complaints to the consumer centers is still increasing – and for some bank customers, the problems could even begin in December.

Consumers despair of the new registration procedure for the account of the DKB, they reach the customer service of the comdirect not or can not log in to Postbank's online banking despite the activation code. Over the past four weeks, more than 300 such reports have been received by Kay Görner, adviser to the market keeper Finanzen der Verbraucherzentralen. And the problems do not diminish. "Currently, the number of daily complaints even increases," said Görner the Handelsblatt. In the past week alone, he has counted about 100 complaints.

That could be because some customers only now want to use their online banking again. Görner holds for the more likely explanation, however, that the awareness of the market guard as complaints body increases. Even with the financial supervision Bafin complaints are increasing. Between 14 September and 10 October, the agency recorded 1,049 customer complaints about banks – two and a half times more than in an average month last year.

According to a spokeswoman for Bafin, however, it can not yet be conclusively assessed whether the described problems are primarily due to errors of the institutes or at least to operator errors or uncertainties on the part of the customers. Keep that in mind.

Difficulties are the consumers in particular the so-called two-factor authentication when account login. In addition to the password, customers now have to enter a "second factor". They get that partly by SMS, via so-called photo and push Tan apps or Tan generators. Not all customers were prepared for it. In addition, different rhythms of the queries cause confusion.

For some banks like the DKB and Commerzbank Since September 14, customers must enter the second factor each time their account is accessed. This is only necessary every 90 days for Comdirect and the savings banks.

In the German bank From October 23, customers should decide for themselves how often they want to identify with Tan. Some financial institutions, such as the savings banks, have also made use of a trick which means that their customers first have to show a second factor in their account login in December. They use the 90-day cycle and have their systems set as if the customers had already identified by Tan on 13 September. According to financial experts, it remains to be seen whether the changeover will work smoothly.

A representative survey carried out by the opinion polling agency Yougov on behalf of the Handelsblatt newspaper on Tuesday threw a better picture of the status quo, in which half of the more than 500 respondents were satisfied with the changes in online banking. 27 percent were not or only partially satisfied.

Consumer advocates demand accessibility of the banks

Consumer advocates complain in the current problems in particular the sometimes poor accessibility of customer service. "Banks are required by law, especially in case of account lockouts for their customers to be reached, which is clear from § 675m para. 1 No. 3 of the Civil Code," says Görner. To take legal action against a bank is difficult. "For this, consumers would have to document very accurately when they tried to reach their bank and what answers they got when," said the consumer advocates.

When asked about the problems, the banks emphasize that there is currently "no general disruption in online banking" and "no fundamental technical restrictions". The direct bank DKB, however, speaks of "a disproportionately high need for information on the part of customers" as a result of the conversion of the banking login on the two-factor authentication and the resulting from a "limited accessibility of customer service".

A spokesman for the Comdirect also confirmed a "increased volume of customer inquiries" that could not be "cushioned" one hundred percent. Some customers, for example, still have not registered for the new Tan procedures or have used an outdated operating system on their smartphone, so the app does not work.

Postbank also refers to "strike action by Postbank employees in recent weeks". These would still lead to "that the accessibility of our service units on the different communication channels is not given in the usual quality, or work arrears must be processed," said a Postbank spokeswoman.

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