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HSBC website (logged-in view) needs an overhaul
September 14, 2009
10:41 pm

I know I can't be the only one out there who finds the logged-in HSBC banking site ugly and not user friendly. Here's a few reasons why, and hopefully someone who actually works at HSBC (since we know a lot of financial institution employees lurk this site ;)) can forward this to the appropriate marketing/IT people to consider:

1. the font sizes vary too much which looks unprofessional, such as on the transfers page. Spacing between things often doesn't look right either. The font and size should match the public website and stick to one size for headings and one size for body copy. The whole transfers section in general and how bank-to-bank transfers are buried in there is just cumbersome compared to other banking sites I've used.

2. system errors are not translated into plain english.

3. The logged-in site overall just feels like something that hasn't been updated with a modern look and polish since the late 1990s. It doesn't have nice buttons and just feels like a "legacy system".

4. left nav items that are not applicable to my HSBC Direct account (such as cheques) still appear in my view, then tells me I don't have access to it when I click on it. It should not appear in the left nav of an HSBC Direct user in the first place!

5. HSBC needs to start offering the "test deposit" option for linking up outside bank accounts, like PayPal and do. Having to manually send VOID cheques and statements in takes too long considering these faster, better options they could implement.

6. On the HSBC site I have to print out a form requiring a witness and signature to designate a successor holder/beneficiary for my TFSA, yet on I simply have to enter in two fields of data (name and SIN of beneficiary) online. Please, HSBC, adopt this easier method so the process isn't so onerous and manual.

7. Sometimes you'll click on a button to confirm/submit your change and then the button just disappears as your evidence that it was done. There's no confirmation page. It's not consistent with other sites that make the steps clearer.

8. I find the harsh bright red and black and white colour scheme agitating. I realize it's a brand, but does the account view really need quite SO MUCH bold red everywhere? i.e. the buttons. Make the logged-in site look more soothing somehow.

9. Citizens Bank had epost and hyperwallet integrated right in your logged in view. It would be good if HSBC could add these valuable features.

10. Did I miss anything?

DISCLAIMER: I use HSBC Direct as my primary bank account. I have no other complaints so far, other than not liking the usability and appearance of their logged-in website and the associated lack of automated options to do basic things like linking an account. I just hope they overhaul it because compared to other competitor sites it's lacking. As more and more people bank online they expect a site to not just do the job, but look good and make it easy in order to give them an edge.

On another note, I like HSBCs method of making you enter 3 random letters/numbers from your password each time you login, as it helps circumvent the security risk of keyloggers installed at shady internet cafes or whatnot, which is particularly relevant to travelers.

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