I recently opened up a new trading account and used the SOFORT system to transfer money into the account. This requires you to enter your online banking credentials and then allows you to transfer the money more quickly than a standard BACS transfer. The problems started when I asked my bank about this method of payment. To cut a long story short they had not heard of this system and immediately suspected a scam. I could almost alarms bells ringing as I explained in detail to the bank’s security team. (SOFORT is legit by the way)

Later I received a letter saying that they were not responsible for any money lost, presumably because I had given my online account credentials to a third party. Fair enough. But this got me thinking. Other sites such as Mint.com and Pocketbook that track your spending require you to enter account credentials so they can access your online accounts and obtain transaction lists and account balances.

If a disputed transaction was to occur then presumably your bank would not be liable to cover the cost if you’ve given out your private login details. So beware, account tracking apps are very useful, but they work in such a way as to violate the terms of service with your bank, which could leave you liable. Eventually there will be a proper secure way to allow third parties access to your data, but until then be wary.