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Traveling with your Barclays PINsentry machine? You may want to read this.

logo barclaysBy Simon Davies

Most of the UK banking population has been forced to use security devices such as Barclays PINsentry card reader for online banking. Barclays admits they’re a bit of a pain, so the bank is now expanding to ”more convenient” mobile banking. In the meantime, here’s a cautionary tale for Barclays customers planning to travel abroad and who rely on PINsentry.

Barclays: Hello, how may I help you?

Me: Hello, well I hope you can help me with a small problem. I’m traveling in (the bustling capital of an economically highly advanced European country) and my PINsentry card won’t work. How can I get a replacement machine?

So Mr Bean, not so easy to use now are they...

So Mr Bean, not so easy to use now are they…

Barclays: no problem. We can send another one to your home address.

Me: But I’m not at home! I’m in (the bustling capital of an economically highly advanced European country) so I won’t receive it. I can’t do any banking without one.

Barclays: I’m sorry, but we can only send one to your home – or you can arrange to pick one up at a local branch if they happen to have one available.

Me: So they don’t routinely keep PINsentry  machines in stock for customers in my position?

Barclay’s: I don’t think so sir, but (the capital of an economically highly advanced European country) does have a Barclays branch (provides address).

Me: Thank you.

Barclays: Just make sure to bring your card and your passport.

Me: Passport? Why a passport? The machines aren’t linked personally. Anyone can use any machine.

Barclays: I don’t know sir. Have you considered using our telephone banking service?

Me: No, I haven’t needed it so far. How do I register for it?

Barclays: It’s easy. I can take your request now and we’ll send you a telephone banking PIN code.

Me: How do you send it?

Barclays: We post it to your home address.

Next phone call is to a Barclays branch in (the capital of an economically highly advanced European country)

Me: Hello, I’m wondering if you can help me. I’m staying in  (the bustling capital of an economically highly advanced European country) and I need a new PINsentry machine.

Barclays: PINsentry machine?

Me: (a little stunned) The little blue and white devices that let you connect to the Internet.

Barclays: On no, I don’t think we have any of those. We have a totally different system.

Me: But you’re in (the bustling capital of an economically highly advanced European country). Millions of Barclays customers come here. Surely you must have some arrangement?

Barclays: I think they can send one to your home address.

Next, back to the Barclays call centre – somewhat more agitated than before:

Me: (after explaining the background)  OK, so your branch in (the capital of an economically highly advanced European country) doesn’t have a machine, and won’t help me. Can you just send one out to them through internal mail so I can pick it up?

Barclays: I’m sorry Mr Davies, we don’t have that facility.

Me: OK, can I temporarily change my address to (the capital of an economically highly advanced European country) so you can send it directly there?

Barclays: That would be an option, but you’d need to be registered for telephone banking, so we would have to send a code out to your existing home address.

Me: (almost completely exasperated) Look, I’ll just go out onto the street and beg for one. Thanks so much for all your invaluable help. At least can you manually send a couple of transactions from my account so I can pay my rent?

Barclays: I’m sorry Mr Davies, we can’t do that either.

Me: And why not?

Barclays: Data protection.

 

June 26, 2014