Online banking is great, but taking it for granted may be a mistake.
This week, Regions Bank, 17th overall by deposits, made a major boo-boo concerning its website, according to a report by Alex Walsh of The Birmingham News. It forgot to renew its website domain.
For non-nerds, your domain is your main website address, such as Bankrate.com. Regions' domain expired on the morning of April 13, 2013. As a result, checking account holders who logged on that morning were greeted with "a generic Web page with branding for Network Solutions," Walsh reported. The bank quickly renewed its registration, but users apparently experienced intermittent problems accessing the site for a few days as a result of the error.
To be fair, Regions is far from the only bank that's had issues with its website lately. Most of the country's largest banks have been victims of denial-of-service attacks that have put their online services on ice for hours or even days at a time.
Online banking has a lot of virtues. It's fast, convenient and your account information is updated constantly. But whether it's due to human error on the part of bank personnel or hacker attacks, a bank website going down can create major issues for account holders who have urgent business online. That's especially true since many account holders now get even basic information like their statement via the Web.
To mitigate some of that risk, it might make sense for account holders to keep an alternative method for managing their account, such as a smartphone app downloaded on their phone, or the phone number for their bank's customer service line handy.
What do you think? Do you rely mostly on your bank's website for managing your account? Do you have alternatives handy in case it doesn't work?
Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.