Bank of America has decided to make its two-factor two-way authentication system “SiteKey” a standard part of sign-on in the 20 states where it is available and eventually to the rest of the country next year. SiteKey is a free service that provides an extra level of authentication to enhance security. Customers pick one of thousands of images, write a brief phrase and select three challenge questions. The customer and the bank can pass that information securely back and forth to confirm each other’s identity. SiteKey is now moving from an optional to a standard part of sign-in on a state-by-state basis. Customers will be told about the change through onscreen messages in advance.
Bank of America is introducing a new feature to its Online Banking, enabling customers to transfer money instantaneously from their personal checking, savings, line of credit, or credit card accounts to other B of A personal deposit account customers. Bank of America executive Sanjay Gupta suggests that parents of college students will find the online transfers to be especially convenient as well as those who need to send money to family or friends within B of A’s coast to coast network. Bank of America serves 33 million consumers in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. To access the new feature, consumers can register for free Online Banking at the Bank of America Web site (http://www.bankofamerica.com/) and select the “Transfer Funds” option. This service is currently available to customers who have accounts in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Bank of America has over 11.7 million active Online Banking customers, the most customers in the industry.
Fully 62% of those owning businesses with under $1 million in revenues and using Web small business banking have the same primary bank for both personal and business needs. Also 38% of Micro/SOHO owners who bank online hold a credit card with the same bank. The findings come from the new “SOHO/Micro Banker Scorecard” by Gomez. The “Scorecard” examines how the largest banks in the U.S. are serving the particular needs of owners of those small businesses with under $1 million in revenues. Bank of America took top honors in the latest survey, followed closely by Key, Fleet and Bank One. Gomez says that despite overwhelming customer demand, only four of 15 Scorecard banks offer online check imaging. Of these four, Bank of America, Bank One and UBOC only started offering online check imaging this year, while Wachovia has offered check imaging for longer. Only Key and UBOC offer an online version of the monthly statement.