Duck, star, wizard. That’s what’ll be springing to mind when it comes time to log in to your Gateway Credit Union account. Of course there’s a conventional password as well, but the new Factor2 Personal Icons adds another layer of security and the system is rising in popularity, particularly amongst smaller Australian financial institutions.
It works by asking you to choose three icons from several lists covering a range of topics, from travel to office to people. Then, when performing a transaction, you click on your three chosen icons in the correct order from a table of nine examples. This should provide robust protection against the most common basic keyloggers, although it’s still vulnerable to advanced keyloggers that take a screenshot at every click. Having SMS codes or a security token is stronger, but Factor2 is superior to the single password system found on many Australian banks.
Once you’re in, you have access to an uncomplicated and unembellished website that lacks many of the more advanced features found on other online banking sites, but it is easy to use and refreshingly responsive. This reflects Gateway’s emphasis on long term investment rather than being all things to all people.
You can browse your accounts and get a quick snapshot of balances as well as recent activity through a mouse rollover of the account name. Transactions can be searched by type and date and exported to a variety of formats, including .xls.
Gateway also encourages you to take up its paperless e-Statements service by donating $1 to Landcare Australia for every member who signs up. Otherwise you can make transactions internally or externally and pay bills via BPAY – although there's no integrated support for BPAY View.
The site is simple and easy to use, although there are fewer bells and whistles, like calculators and comprehensive help files or Flash tutorials. You also can’t extend your account by ordering cards or cheque books or tacking on loans or term deposits; these things must be done in the old school way by picking up the phone. There’s also no provision for advanced features like SMS or mobile banking, but this is not really surprising for a financial institution with Gateway’s purpose.
For a simple and efficient online banking experience, and one that employs an innovative security system, Gateway does the job. It’s not as embellished as the big banks’ sites, but it does the job.
This Review appeared in the September, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing