‘No mobile phone? No savings account,’ Metro Bank tells pensioner – Telegraph.co.uk
He emailed Metro Bank to explain what he had done. He also suggested that the mobile number field be made optional because not everyone has a mobile phone.
The account was opened and Mr Mace’s money was banked. But when he went to access the account online he was blocked.
It then transpired that he had been sent a security code to the made-up mobile number he had submitted with his application.
Without this code Metro Bank said Mr Mace could not log in. They told him that to be a customer he needed to have a valid address, email and mobile number for “security reasons”.
Mr Mace spent the next two weeks speaking to various members of staff, working his way up the hierarchy. Eventually Metro Bank relented and he was able to log in to the account. For the time spent trying to resolve the issue he was given £75 in compensation.
“I have a mobile, but I do not like giving the number to companies because they just end up bombarding people with marketing calls,” he said.
“As it would appear that a valid mobile number is crucial to their business practices, I have suggested that they make this known on the application form together with the statement ‘if you do not have a mobile phone, we do not want you as a customer, so abort your application now’.”
“In the first telephone discussion, I was advised to visit either the Milton Keynes or Aylesbury branch and provide a genuine mobile number. Making a 100-mile round trip for their inadequacies is unacceptable.”
A spokesman for the bank confirmed that additional wording had been added to the online application form after Mr Mace’s experience.
The spokesman said a mobile phone number was needed to “authenticate the customer”.
“Our online application form clearly states that it is mandatory to provide a mobile phone number and we have added additional wording which explains that if customers do not have a mobile phone number they will need to visit one of our stores [branches] to continue the application process,” she said.
“We pride ourselves on offering the best in service and convenience to our customers, and are sorry if on this occasion the customer was dissatisfied with their experience.”
According to Savings Champion, the rate monitoring website, most banks and building societies are happy to send security codes by post.
Susan Hannums, a spokesman, said: “For those with access to a mobile phone the security feature seems fairly straightforward to use but of course, for those who don’t, this can be frustrating.”