Nov 6

NAB – More Give, Less Take (of Honest Reviews)

Category: review

So recently my NAB account popped up a little option to “review” my account and put it on the website. I was invited to review my “NAB Classic Banking” account but I got an email back saying that it was rejected for the following reasons:

  • Your review contained a reference to a customer service interaction that is not specifically related to the NAB product under review.
  • Your review contained content that was inappropriate or unrelated to the product or service you reviewed.

They have a whole heap of review guidelines so I figure if that’s the reasons it’s not been published the other reasons are likely not why they’re not going to publish it.

So I figure if NAB won’t publish it, I’ll publish it myself for the world to see and make up their own mind. Perhaps “customer service” isn’t something they feel is related to their product. Or perhaps reviewing the internet banking bundled with their product wasn’t what they were expecting and wish to exclude internet banking as a product that isn’t a part of the product they offer. Confusing! Onwards to the review!

I’ve been using NAB Classic Banking for more than a decade back when it was just a savings account and I’ve seen the product improve. NAB has always been a leader in online banking however in the last half a decade they’ve stalled their development and the product is stagnating letting their competitors keep up. It remains a strong product with powerful transaction listing tool with search and extensive history support which can be exported into a few limited formats. NAB have a strong mobile app for iOS which has been tweaked and has a very usable interface.

Unfortunately NAB seem disinterested in feedback on their products and demonstrate poor customer support in response to said feedback. Their feedback systems are disjoint and don’t present a consistent interface while you feel like you’re just being bounced from person to person virtually just like what would happen when on the phone. Worse is in a single email thread they re-use the same boilerplate template text to respond to your email – it’s a sure sign that nobody has bothered to read or cares.

NAB could leverage some of its infrastructure but doesn’t appear interested in doing this…or perhaps they aren’t capable. NAB runs the risk of losing the already slipping advantage they have with their internet banking products. While Australia is reasonably safe from the disruptive forces that are in the US, there are now startups in the banking area that seek to revolutionise how banking is completed. For now NAB are safe but when these organisations start setting up shop around the world it will be hard for NAB to stay relevant given their current moves.

Perhaps most worrying are NAB’s arbitrary restrictions on it’s passwords which could indicate that the passwords are not stored entirely securely. This could mean that either the passwords are not hashed or that they’re using a custom and potentially insecure hashing mechanism. Perhaps most worrying is the potential that they’re either not hashing the password at all and storing it plain text or have stored it using reversible encryption. Should there ever be a breach of your account you cannot be sure that the breach was your fault or NAB’s and it is unlikely that NAB will admit fault. Even excluding NAB’s management, the restrictions on the password complexity force you to create simple passwords that could be easier to hack than what other banks support.

All in all if you can accept the security risks with a NAB account and that there appears to be no driving forwards direction for improvement, this product provides a good general purpose savings account and great ways to access your money. In spite of all of what I’ve written above I remain a NAB customer believing they still provide the best product on the market…they just could do better.

NAB Classic Banking – More give, less take (of honest reviews).

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