NBK Are Missing the Point

This post is dedicated to everyone who works a full time job, has not the time during the day to visit a branch and wait in line for services (when, if you remember, when it came time for you to open an account, you were welcomed with open arms and sent immediately to a bank rep).

These fine, hard working men and women do not have the time to visit THEIR branch, so they rely on E-Banking, which is a god send, correct?

Wrong.

Dear NBK, if for every transaction I need to visit my branch, or call Hala Watani, then what is the purpose of online banking?

I employ Warren Buffett’s methodology of savings; I save then spend. How do I do that you ask? Simple. I have a savings account with another bank that I have added as a beneficiary to my salary account (which is, you guessed it, with NBK due to their ever growing presence in all of Kuwait) and once my salary is deposited, I simply log onto Hala Watani, key in the data, click a button and poof! The money is transferred to the other bank. I do not carry the card with me, nor do I remember the PIN, so the money goes in, doesn’t come out (for now, until the Mrs. arrives).

Now, you ask, where is the problem?

Recently, today rather, I wanted to add a beneficiary. After keying in their details and account number, address etc. it came time for NBKs security question. 3 RANDOM digits from your Civil ID, you must enter, correctly, in 3 tries.

I have memorised my Civil ID number, but for safety’s sake, I wrote it down, counted the numbers as they asked, and entered them.

Error.

Locked out of account.

Please Call Hala Watani at 1801801.

Peeved at this inconvenience, as the best thing about e-banking is the SPEED, I nonetheless grabbed the phone, dialed the number, entered my details and waited as the same monotonous toned voice told me “all agents are busy, please hold on”, and then proceeded to toot how they are now available on iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch and Blackberry.

Then a customer service rep answers, she was kind, but I was at the end of my patience having had to wait so long for the answer. When I told her my problem, her response was:

“Sir you do not have ePin”.

(ePin is the service which allows you to transfer and make payments online)

Flabbergasted, I asked her to check again, as just earlier this month I had been transferring money to my other account in hopes of winning 1,000KD, not to mention paying my mobile bill, telephone bill etc.

Same answer.

At this point, I lost it and told her in a serious tone that I do have an ePin, I do have 2 beneficiaries in my account, I have been transferring money previously etc.

Then I rolled into a tirade of how the only reason I use ePin is that so I do not have to visit their branch whenever I want a transaction made.

At first she kept insisting I visit my branch, then she told me there was another way, and she would ask me 5 questions that I MUST answer correctly.

They were (not in order):

1) Birthday

2) Civil ID

3) Where did you open your account

4) What was the last transaction in your account, what is your mobile number

5) How many accounts do you have with NBK?

And apparently now that I quantify them, a bonus question of Do you have a credit card?

And after getting all these questions correct, I have to wait for them to call me.

In the end, it appears that NBK has changed its security (or so she says) and hence all ePin numbers were “reset”. Which is as lukewarm a response as when you call tech-support and they ask you to reinstall Windows.

Just blame it on the system.

So, NBK, if this IS true, then it is YOUR responsibility to reinstate my ePin as is, or, if you need further proof from me, to allow me to ask at ANY branch in my vicinity, not the branch where I opened my account, seeing as how it is your burden that I have to bear.

In closing, I am thoroughly disappointed at the behavior of NBK, the first blow this year was how they will start charging 10KD a year for mobile banking, which is not an amount in itself but the principle of charging for a service that was free for the past 4 years is infuriating.

NBK needs to revamp their services and put the customer first.

For it is the customer that keeps them working. For those of you who are not financially savvy, allow me to explain how a bank works. A bank is nothing more than a broker in between people that have money and wish to save it/ invest it, and people that need money and wish to borrow it. So what the bank does is facilitates the meeting between these two parties (Lender A and Borrower B), they pay A interest income and charge B interest expense, but, to make money, they always charge B more than they pay A, and hence, banks profit.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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