For a week last month, you suspended access to Mint.com for Chase customers. We could not access our Chase accounts through this free and widely used financial aggregation service. It was ridiculously annoying!
When I wrote you about it, I received a form letter in response describing the suspension for “security reasons”, which I consider highly suspect. The thing is, just a couple of weeks earlier you had sent me a marketing email touting your new Chase Mobile App. It’s interesting that your security priorities for account holders seem to mesh so well with your own proprietary (and no doubt profitable) app development. How convenient for your bottom line!
Since, dear Chase, I’m not sure you understand where you stand in my financial life, let me clear some things up for you. I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with you for some time now.
- My Chase cash back rewards Visa was the first credit card I picked out for myself, at 22-years-old over ten years ago. At the time it was great, I earned 5% on gas and groceries, which was where most of my discretionary spending was those days.
- Then you decreased the benefits on my cash-back card, rebranding it “Freedom”. Yeah, it gave you the “freedom” to rotate my cash back categories so that I earned far less cash back overall, not so much freedom for me.
- Your redemption portal could use some work – why would I buy a full-priced gift card from you when I can get the cash back instead and then earn more points buying a gift card from another merchant? Seriously. Why!?! (Not to mention the other options for purchasing discounted gift cards…)
- And your shopping portal is the pits. I get way more cash back using my Discover most of the time if I’m making a big purchase online from the exact same stores. Which begs the question – Are you unable to negotiate the same favorable rates they do, or are you skimming more of the profits off the top for yourself rather than returning them to your customers?
- Really, the only thing keeping me using you for the past couple of years is your longevity in my life. You’re the credit card we’ve got some of our auto-pays (like our gym membership) on, and the credit card number that I’ve got memorized and find myself using if I’m too lazy to get up and find my wallet to make a purchase online.
But the inertia that has kept you as a semi-active part of our financial lives, isn’t going to be enough if you keep messing with my ability to view my transaction and balance information in a way that I prefer. It’ll take me less than an hour to change our auto-payments, and I’m quite good at memorizing numbers. A new sixteen digit number will be no problem. You’re disposable in my financial life.
No, I won’t close my account. I’ll just leave it in limbo – with a $0 balance. As I understand it, that’s actually more beneficial to my credit score and causes more expenses to you. We have other cards that haven’t seen a charge in years. Would you like to join them? It sounds like probably not since Mint was able to convince you after a week (or maybe you had enough angry customers writing you) to let their service access your databases once again.
Here’s where I stand on security. As a victim of identity theft, I care deeply about my security. I use a password database and ridiculously complex passcodes and false security answers that cannot be socially engineered. Contrary to your assertion that Mint-using customers are putting their finances at risk, I firmly believe that my finances are safer for using a financial aggregation site like Mint. With all of my account information in one place, I view it far more often than I would if I had to use separate portals for each of our 20+ accounts. Viewing it MORE often, means that I will be able to spot and react to potential fraud far more quickly than if I didn’t use such an aggregator.
If you were REALLY worried about my security (and not just trying to force customers into your own profit center as I suspect), you’d create a transaction and balance read-only username and password for each account (or just for those that request it!) that would let your customers easily access information through these types of aggregation services without incurring any of the potential liability associated with a one-size-fits-all login. It’s not a significant technological challenge – heck, here’s a hint – the field is called Identity and Access Management – if you don’t have specialists on your staff in this area, hire them yesterday.
So, Chase – I’m sorry to be so blunt with you, but your lack of apology after restoring access to mint indicated that you weren’t really understanding your place in my financial world (and likely in the financial world of many of your other customers). You’re disposable. There are other financial providers with better rewards. Others with better customer service. And I’d be happy to use them instead if you make transactions through Chase difficult for me to keep track of.
Mrs PoP (a Chase customer for over ten years)