by Moneymax, on category "Credit Card"
May 10, 2018
BDO, currently the largest bank in the Philippines, is the only bank in the country with branches in malls that are open after regular banking hours on weekdays and even on weekends. However, you’ll rarely see a BDO branch that isn’t packed with customers waiting in line.
People who are too busy and impatient to transact over the counter can turn to alternative channels such as BDO Online Banking. This electronic banking facility enables customers to perform financial transactions without leaving their home or office.
Is using BDO Online Banking worth your time? Here’s a closer look at how this e-banking system works.
Note: This is the second in the series of articles by MoneyMax.ph that explores and probes into the online banking experience provided by the leading banks in the Philippines.
If you have any of these BDO accounts (individual or joint OR accounts), you may register for BDO Online Banking:
Enrollment involves filling out an application form at the BDO Online Banking site and activating the online account (using the BDO debit card) at any BDO ATM. The online banking account can be accessed 24 hours after the ATM activation.
Some BDO customers, however, aren’t happy with the slow process of enrolling an online account. Some registrations go pending for days or even weeks.
BDO’s online banking sucks!!!
ok, so how many minutes/hours/days until my enrollment application with BDO Online Banking becomes OK? It’s been 30 minutes and my enrollment is still pending
— Ram Lopez-Vito Bucoy (@Rambuc) Disyembre 5, 2017
The BDO Online Banking site’s interface looks simple, but navigating it can be confusing and overwhelming. The complicated menu makes it quite hard to find the exact service you need.
For first-time users, it can take a while to get familiar and comfortable with the online banking system.
Punyetang BDO online banking yan nakakabobo gamitin daming paikotikot ??
— R? (@jr_bartolay) Abril 20, 2018
Tip: Use the My Quick Links feature to easily access the shortcuts (presented as icons) to your most frequently used BDO Online Banking services.
BDO provides funds transfer flexibility to its online banking customers. Using the BDO Online banking system, you can transfer money to another BDO account, an account with another local bank, or an email address/mobile number. Cash pickup and door-to-door delivery are also available.
Because of this, transacting online via BDO’s Send Money feature can easily confuse users. Choosing the type of funds transfer to use can be a challenge. For example, BDO makes a distinction between a pre-enrolled and an unenrolled BDO account as a money transfer recipient.
But once you’ve gotten the hang of it, sending cash online is just a cinch. You can transfer funds via BDO Online Banking in many ways:
Like other online banking platforms, BDO helps speed up bills payment and reloading for its customers through the following services:
There’s no formal documentation of BDO Online Banking’s service interruptions, but social media posts of customers seem to indicate that they happen once or twice every month.
One of the most recent downtimes happened on a payday, which caused so much frustration among customers who couldn’t access their BDO Online Banking account to check their salary.
BDO online banking is down when you needed it. Just WOW! ?
— Märck (@marckmiles) Pebrero 28, 2018
fyi, BDO’s online banking (both web and mobile app versions) are down again. #bdo
— Bien Alejandro. (@bienskyy) Pebrero 28, 2018
Ngayon ko lang nalaman na may issue pala ngayon sa BDO. I was trying to access my online banking, pero after unsuccessful logins, I looked it up, meron pala silang system maintenance til 10AM today dahil na rin sa issue ng unauthorized withrawals. Scary
— Reinabels ? (@rosereinarose) Enero 19, 2018
According to advisories and statements released by BDO, system downtimes happen because of connectivity issues or systems upgrade/maintenance.
With the rampant online banking fraud affecting the country’s largest bank, what’s the guarantee that clients won’t lose their hard-earned money when using BDO Online Banking?
BDO employs better technologies and processes in place for its online banking platform compared to other major banks in the Philippines.
Logging into a BDO Online Banking account takes longer than that of other banks because of its security measures to verify a user’s identity.
In addition to entering a username and a password, users also have to key in a one-time password (OTP)—which BDO sends via SMS to the registered mobile phone number—each time they log in.
BDO is the only bank in the Philippines that requires users to enter an OTP to access their online banking account and perform certain transactions such as funds transfer and prepaid phone reloading.
Alternatively, if you don’t have your phone with you, the BDO Online Banking account can still be accessed by choosing to answer your challenge question.
The OTP/Challenge Question may be quite a hassle, but it’s an extra layer of protection that ensures nobody else can access your BDO online account.
Website encryption is another layer of security to protect BDO Online Banking accounts from unauthorized access. A 128-bit encryption, one of the most secure and unbreakable encryption methods, secures all financial transactions in the online banking system.
If you forget to log out after your online banking session using a public or shared computer, the automatic log-out feature secures your BDO account. You’ll be logged out of the system once it detects inactivity for a certain number of minutes. This way, the next computer user won’t be able to access your BDO Online Banking account.
Enrollment for sensitive bank transactions such as online funds transfer and customer information update requires activation via a BDO ATM. That means you can start transferring funds to another BDO account or change your account information only after you’ve activated your enrollment.
When you lose your ATM or debit card, you can immediately prevent unauthorized transactions without having to go to a branch or call its hotline.
To date, this security feature is available only to ATM or debit cards. You can’t lock your lost or stolen credit card or prepaid card at the moment.
Just access BDO Online Banking and go to My Accounts > Lock My ATM Debit Card. In just a few clicks, you can lock your debit card so that anybody can’t use the lost card for ATM and POS transactions, as well as for online purchases and payments.
When you try to lock your card via BDO Online Banking, you’ll need to enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number. If your cellphone is lost or stolen along with your card, you won’t complete the process.
While your physical card is locked, you can still transact via BDO Online Banking and Mobile Banking channels. You can unlock the card to make it active again once your card has been replaced.
Not all clients welcome this BDO online banking security feature, though. Some concerns are legitimate, like hackers being able to lock the owners out of their online account.
BDO Online Banking has this new security feature which allows you to lock/unlock your ATM card. It’s nice but what if you can’t login in to your online account or if it’s hacked. IDK. I don’t think it’s useful.
— Joann (@yojoannn) Pebrero 1, 2018
Complaints of customers experiencing unauthorized withdrawals and purchases hounded BDO in the last quarter of 2017 up to early 2018. Some clients reportedly lost as much as PHP 50,000 to hackers.
Such loss is painful as it is, especially if you need money for an emergency. Worse, it takes 60 days for BDO to investigate an incident before you can recover the money if it gets resolved at all.
Such cases are nothing new to BDO customers. As early as 2012, for instance, an OFW became a victim of unauthorized withdrawals of his hard-earned money. The loss reached PHP 50,000 because BDO allegedly refused the request to block the online transactions immediately.
Security threats to online banking in the country are increasing, according to a Trend Micro study. The Philippines is also one of the most affected by online banking fraud. Top banks like BDO aren’t spared.
BDO implements a lot of stringent online banking security measures. But with the recent incidents of unauthorized transactions and service disruptions, the challenge for the country’s largest bank is to further improve its systems for the protection of its customers’ accounts.
Of course, customers also have to do their share in ensuring online banking security. If you have an account with BDO, stay vigilant and cautious about your online behavior to avoid falling victim to online banking scams.