Online banking without HBCI proves to be very risky

The abbreviation HBCI stands for Home Banking Computer Interface which is a national standard developed by the Central Credit Committee. Using this method it is impossible for bank customers to be redirected by, for instance, so-called Phishing-Mails to faked Internet sites, since the online connection to the sites on which customers leave their sensible data is secure and encoded. When using HBCI a special software provided by the customer’s bank will be used. The confidential numbers will be stored on a chip card, which has to be wiped through a special card reader each time a transaction is carried out. The required hardware and the chip card are made available at the purchase price by many banks.

Another potential danger to be taken into account are unauthorized direct debits. For example, the book keeper of a medium-sized publishing house informed about an increasing number of unauthorized direct debit entries where a third party got hold of the company’s account details and unjustifiedly had the company’s account debited. It is true that there is the possibility to object to such a debit within a period of six weeks. But this period may rapidly elapse, if the employee in charge is absent due to illness or holiday and his or her substitute is not informed. GERMAN