The future is here..well, it’s next door in the U.S. I deal with one of the smaller U.S. banks out of Florida. When I called last week, it was the usual: Name, account number, phone access pass code, address, and verify the last transaction in your account. The usual 200 step process to verify identity. But then, the lady asked me if I wanted voiceprint access. Yes! She simply took a recording of my voice into her computer and from now on: No more identity questions! The computer recognizes my voice and that’s all they need. Love it, love it!
Setting up online access at Canada Revenue Agency isn’t easy. It’s actually a multi-step process. You need to enter your personal information, and then some trick questions from last year’s tax return that only you would actually know. Then you’ll need to call their Winnipeg Tax Office to answer some more questions based on your last return. At that point, they’ll send you a code to enter and you’re set up. The first thing I did when I had them on the phone is to thank them for all that security. The guy was a little surprised, but if you’ve heard any of the I.R.S. horror stories from the U.S. you’d be thankful, too, as the IRS lost $21 billion to fraud last year.
Finally, get ready for something called two-step authentication. In the old days, or now ending days, you just needed to log in with your user name and password. That’s rapidly changing to add a second step to verify it’s you and not a hacker. The second step will be to send you a text on your phone, or an email with a code number that you need to enter. It’s already the law with Amazon for sellers, and will be for banks, Ebay, and many others. When you enter that second step, it’ll let you into your account. You can tell the system to “keep” this number if you’re always at your same computer. However, when you do a clean up on it, you’ll need to get a new access code again.
It’s a bit of a pain, but in the big picture of financial accounts, or companies where you can spend money online, and who have your credit card information, it’s well worth it!