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Michael's blog archive

2011 (1) 2010 (2) 2008 (3)
Michael Fuller

Michael Fuller

Former Retail Banker at None
Posts: 6 Comments: 52
Bio Since 1997 I have left the financial sector and am Company Secretary for a large national Housing Association with responsibilities which include regulatory reporting from our data warehouse. Career History Joined Midland Bank in 1975 and spent 21 years in a variety of mainly retail staff and management roles. Culminated in 1997 when I spent a short time working on a revamp of the Bank's website.



Who I am and not what's my limit?

26 Sep 2011

It's not the first time that Banks have asked me daft questions in order to identify me. Every few years of course I have to be sent a new card and as part of that process I have to "activate" it. What do Banks need to know? First that I have received the card and second that I am who I claim to be. By all means ask me about the card I ha...


3-D Insecure -possible heresy

28 Jan 2010

It's interesting both that there have been no comments so far about this story and that there are quite a number of other blogs where the value of 3-D secure has been questioned. This seems to be an example of the Emperor's new clothes where everyone knows he is naked but won't admit it. My experience of 3-D secure tends to support the Cambridge



Citi Cards UK direct debit failure

01 Jan 2010

Citi Cards UK today admitted to me that they had failed to collect direct debits on a number of customer credit card accounts the result of which was that a £12 late payment fee has been applied. Fortunately I noticed the fee when checking my account on-line and was able to contact Citi straight away to get them to put it right. The Direct Debit sh...


Convenience Store ATM Fraud

19 Nov 2008

About eight weeks ago I got my wife and I Shell MasterCards from Citi to buy fuel with. This was prompted by the offer of 3% off our fuel purchases at Shell. (6% in the first 60 days from account opening). This morning (17 November) I got a text from Citi telling me my account balance. It was £1600 more than I had expected so I tried to log on to


Michael is Commenting on

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: Natwest copies Starling with carers card

  Any suggestion that these services have been introduced for “covert customer acquisition” would be somewhat disingenuous, they are there to fill a real need. This NatWest service seems however to imitate the Starling service without its key advantages for customer oversight and control. True, secondary cards have been a feature on credit cards for decades but what was lacking was both true real time information on the spend as it was incurred, the limitation on types of spend and the ability of the customer to turn it off instantly. Historically secondary cards have often been given to family members not to unrelated individuals whose only connection is via a contract of employment of which they may not be the principal. Without the ability to see spend as it happens and turn it on and off instantly at will, you are essentially relying on trust not control. I doubt that NatWest have this fully covered and essentially once the card is topped up, the control on spend is limited by value only. The comment by NatWest that “To enhance security, the carers card will be associated with the customer’s existing bank account but kept separate on the bank’s systems” doesn’t give any clue to controls the customer has what information on spend they will have and when. Some clarity from NatWest on this would be welcome. I am also concerned that by allowing access to cash, as NatWest does, you are potentially placing the carer in an invidious position. It is a key principle of many carer's contracts of employment that they will not handle their client’s cash. To do so could render them liable to dismissal. Both these services are well intentioned and can be helpful, but any professional carer would be well advised to check carefully with their employer first that using these services is permitted. (Get this in writing from your Employer if their published policy isn’t clear). Those giving access to their money need both to trust the individual they choose and to understand the controls that are in place. Liability for loss is likely to rest principally with the customer who will often be vulnerable.