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When Banks Can’t Speak English

By Michael Heraghty on June 6th, 2011

I’ve been using Allied Irish Bank’s personal online banking service for years and, while it was ropey in the beginning, in recent years the usability has improved. I have used this service to manage my business and it has worked fine.

Because I recently changed status from sole trader to limited company, I was advised that I had to upgrade to IBB, AIB’s dedicated online business banking service.

Alarms started to ring when the set-up process took over a month — a username that was supposed to arrive in the post never did. After weeks of trying to retrieve the username via customer support failed, I finally had to contact my own bank manager who managed to retrieve it in minutes.

When I finally got access to the system, it was like someone was playing a cruel usability joke on me. I was unable to pay an invoice online — a task that is simple using the standard AIB banking interface. Worse, I cannot tell you *why* I was unable to complete this task. Here is the error message I received:

AIB IBB is a horror show. I wish I’d never switched.

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