Josie complains she can’t bank or shop online without a mobile

Banking Discrimination

Josie's bank introduced checks to protect customers from fraud, which required a mobile phone to verify passcodes when shopping online or banking. She felt her bank had discriminated against her because she did not have a mobile phone due to her disability.

What happened

Josie’s bank introduced additional checks to protect customers from fraud. This meant she’d need to receive a passcode to a mobile phone to access online banking and shop online.

Josie says she felt discriminated against because she didn’t have a mobile phone and couldn’t use one because of her disability. She didn’t think it was fair that she’d now struggle to bank and shop online.

The bank said it had to bring in additional checks to comply with legislation and it didn’t think it had acted unfairly. It said Josie could still manage her account through telephone banking, in branch or ask a friend or relative to help.

What we said

The bank had to make changes to comply with legislation, but it was also required to consider the impact of any changes on its customers and offer different options for receiving passcodes.

We said that the bank hadn’t acted fairly in Josie’s case in only offering for passcodes to be sent to a mobile phone, or suggest she had to move away from online banking. Suggesting that friends or family could support would also take away her independence unnecessarily.

Following our involvement, the bank offered Josie the option of receiving passcodes to email, which worked for her. We also told the bank to pay compensation to reflect the inconvenience she’d experienced and the distress she’d been caused.