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I'm coming from an IT background and perhaps one puzzling question about the current state of banking (at least, in my country) is this:

Why can we not adjust our own banking security preferences?

For example, when I travel to another country, I have to call my bank and say where I am going and for how many days I'll be in said country, or else if I attempt to use my credit card in that country, it will be blocked and I will have to explain to the bank that I was the one who made that transaction, but wait for three days to get it unlocked again. And this is very frustrating to do since I travel a lot.

Another example is the requirement to use two-factor authentication every time I have to login my bank's website. Now sure, I appreciate the security and all, but can I not have a say how I login to the website? Other banks are fine with username and password. Why can't my bank do that too?

So my question is:

Why haven't banks given the users freedom to choose their own security preferences?

Thank you.

closed as off-topic by Nathan L, ChrisInEdmonton, JoeTaxpayer Jul 10 '17 at 2:56

  • This question does not appear to be about Personal Finance within the scope defined in the help center.
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  • I think banks are a lot like other sites - security options vary based on what they think is important and what their customers will want. If it's important enough for you, I would suggest finding a bank that has a security policy that matches what you want. money.stackexchange.com/questions/1084/… – kponz Jul 8 '17 at 19:16
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    If your credit card is used fraudulently, your (U.S.) bank faces (most of) the loss, not you personally. They won't be happy to let you adjust security parameters when they're the ones who can suffer from your choices. – user4556274 Jul 8 '17 at 19:31
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this isn't about finance; it's about customer service. – Nathan L Jul 8 '17 at 22:17
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Because the bank's obligations in the case of fraudulent transactions are set out by law and banking codes, and the banks can't opt out of them.

Lets say you contact the bank and tell them that you travel abroad a lot, and you don't want your card to ever be blocked overseas.

Then someone in your local gas station copies your credit card details and emails them to someone in Taiwan. That person makes a clone of your credit card and goes on a spending spree.

Who do you think is going to foot the bill?

Ultimately, the bank is responsible for fraudulent transactions, so they set the rules on how their security systems work. This will be set as a delicate balance between minimizing inconvenience to the customer and avoiding fraud.

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Why haven't banks given the users freedom to choose their own security preferences?

There are multiple reasons.

Regulations: Depending on country, type of transaction, there are regulation Banks need to fullfil.

Protecting Bank: If Banks offer multiple different security option, some lower and some higher; there are chances of error at Bank's end. This could result in someone requesting higher security getting lower. This is considered more risk.

Litigation: User could file cases against Banks saying these are the one's who know which security is best and if such an option was available they should not have given a choice a user who does not understand security. This of this similar to saying you need a feature to disable air-bags in cars.

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