Need to find a bank with amazing online security
January 13, 2014 1:43 PM   Subscribe

I need to find a bank with absolutely amazing online security. Two-factor authentication is a good place to start. Bonus points for stability and good interest rates.

Had to reset the password on my savings account the other night, and was appalled by my bank's lack of security. It appears that, if someone gained access to my email account, all they'd need to reset my password would be some basic information that's probably real easy to obtain. I don't know how, in this day and age, a bank can be so irresponsible.

So, I'm looking for two banks : one for my checking, one for my savings. Yes, they must be separate. These banks must have absolutely top-notch online security. Two-factor authentication would be a great place to start, but I'd give preference to banks that go a step further, if this is possible. I should be able to do all the typical online banking tasks through the website, I just want to do them in a safe fashion.

As a secondary concern, I'd prefer banks that are absolute paragons of stability. Yes, I know, checking/savings accounts are FDIC-insured, but I remember the recession, and would like to go with banks that don't take crazy stupid risks.

Finally, all things being equal, I'd like to get the highest interest rates possible. Obviously this is not a top concern, but it's the sort of thing that could be a tie-breaker between equally worthy options.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Off the top of my head, Bank of America, Chase, and USAA all offer 2fa and solid online banking functionality. Do you need access to physical branches? If so it would be useful to know what state you live in.
posted by phoenixy at 1:46 PM on January 13, 2014

I have a savings account with American Express. Their high yield accounts are at .85% right now which is...fine. Given the pita it was to get it synched properly with mint after they updated their site security, I'd guess they've got things locked down pretty well. (The problem getting it to synch was the 2 factor authentication requirement.)
posted by phunniemee at 1:47 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am happy with USAA. They allow for two factor authentication, either through a smart phone app or a SMS message. They have a good system of phone passwords where you can select a passphrase they will ask you for before doing anything on the phone (instead of dumb questions like digits from ID numbers or birthdays). The times I had concerns about security and called, they had anticipated paranoid people like me asking for more security and had a way to provide it.
posted by procrastination at 1:48 PM on January 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm very happy with my credit union (StarOne, but it's part of a big collective of CUs).

They have a voice password feature, which actually annoys the hell out of me - if you call customer service, you have to tell them your secret password.

I think your best bet is to find a credit union you qualify for (the rates will be better) and ask them about how they handle security.
posted by colin_l at 1:48 PM on January 13, 2014

Also very happy with USAA. N.B., you will need to meet eligibility requirements.
posted by jquinby at 1:58 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

My credit union does a much better job with security and fraud protection than Chase did. My unhappiness with Chase, security and otherwise, got me to change to my local credit union and I couldn't be happier.
posted by quince at 2:17 PM on January 13, 2014

posted by Houstonian at 2:21 PM on January 13, 2014

I've been pleasantly surprised by Schwab's banking services. Without exception, I've found their service associates to be exceedingly well trained and capable of resolving anything I've thrown their way. In the rare instances I've needed to call, every issue has been resolved fully in a single phone call with nearly no time in a phone queue. Highly recommend.
posted by 26.2 at 2:22 PM on January 13, 2014

Chase has 2-factor auth.
posted by radioamy at 2:31 PM on January 13, 2014

Chase online passwords not case sensitive.

Amex online password restricted to small pool of alpha characters and numbers in small amount lengths.
posted by tilde at 2:39 PM on January 13, 2014

CapitalOne 360 (formerly ING) and PNC both have good security and are stable.
posted by bleep at 3:06 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Based on my experiences of American banks, they all fall short of most Swedish banks in the secure log on-area. Most Swedish banks use a stand alone cryptographic key generator (usually tied to you physical credit card).

As a user you have to have the right key generator and credit card to be able to lo into your account to pay bills, transfer money etc.

Sorry that's it not an answer to your question. But solutions are out there bank just have to implement them.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 4:11 PM on January 13, 2014

Been with USAA for 18 years. There is no better bank IMHO - but it helps if you're military (more options...) or have a parent who is/was.
posted by matty at 5:25 PM on January 13, 2014

Lots of people don't qualify for USAA so while I'm sure it's great, 100 recommendations of it isn't better than 1 if OP doesn't qualify.

Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.

Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).

Adult children whose eligible parents have or had a USAA auto or property insurance product.

Widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy

posted by bleep at 6:07 PM on January 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

eTrade provides checking and savings accounts and they (optionally but at no additional charge) use the little number generating key fobs (RSA makes them I think) for two factor. Their interest rates are horrible though.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 7:55 PM on January 13, 2014

Seconding CapitalOne360 (even though I hate Capital One), which used to be ING Direct (which I adored). It's still good, and the interest rate is great (for a checking account).
posted by yellowcandy at 9:35 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

A third vote for Capital One 360. When they bought out ING my heart sank, but they haven't screwed anything up so far and in fact (much as I hate to admit it) have made things a bit better.

ING was online-only, and had very decent security practices; Capital One hasn't changed that.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:31 PM on January 14, 2014

Full-disclosure, I am a US Bank employee.

US Bank uses a rotating two-factor authentication with custom answers and resetting a password requires the user ID, a check-card number and PIN and you'd still need the answers to the security questions. Our Chief information security officer (CISO) won a CISO of the year award from the AITP.

US Bank is also the paragon of stability. We have the highest credit rating of any large bank at all four credit rating agencies. The CEO describes us as "boring, traditional banking" and seems to walk the walk.
posted by VTX at 1:23 PM on January 15, 2014

US Bank requires you to answer a security question when logging in from an untrusted computer, which is not the same as two-factor authentication, which requires both "something you know" and "something you have". Last I used the US Bank website (which was, admittedly, like two years ago) I'm pretty sure they didn't offer two-factor auth for login.
posted by phoenixy at 5:00 PM on January 15, 2014

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