I have just spent the better part of ninety minutes contacting a series of financial institutions to notify them that I'll be out of the country for the next week on business. This is an exercise that I do each and every trip and it's getting OLD.
Wells Fargo takes the cake for the most technology lagging of the bunch. This wasn't a surprise, but their CTO is too chicken to talk to a customer despite requests from my private banker and even a request via their PR team to hear how things can be made easier for everyone. Why? They have over 90 products spread across some 15 or more platforms, and as a business and personal customer, and one who uses a number of their services, I need to notify multiple departments (or have my private banker handle it) each time I leave the USA because as of the 1st of the year, a blanket notification stopped being any good for them. Once I made a payment to a vendor from Madrid, then another from Valencia and Wells Fargo FROZE my access for over 24 hours....and the excuse was "our departments are different" even though they had been notified, but only one department.
Next was Bank of America. It seems their systems were down for weekly maintenance (have they heard of redundancy in the banking world?) and as of six months ago, paper and pencil were banned for security reasons, so that card is not going to get used until I have a word with them tomorrow (like I have nothing better to do on a business trip.)
On the other hand, AMEX was a breeze, telling me that as a valued cardmember of many years my profile is such that their security features can detect the patterns and I'm all set. WOW...
Here's the rub. The banks all have online systems, yet not a one has an International Travel Notification engine. To me, and I bet any other global business person that's an easy notification system, the same way services like Do Not Disturb work with Google Voice and CallVantage or a service like AwayFind handles your notifications by email.
It's just technology and security has to stop being the excuse for not doing things that are for the convenience of the customer and the overall business.