It’s no secret that the Bank of America, like all major banks in the United States, relies on incomefrom overdraft fees for the maintenance of their business, and perhaps their growth. I’m passing for now on the exact figures involved, but this material is available on the internet
. My concern is with a detailed analysis of BoA’s banking center and how, despite the great amount of money they put into it—it is commonly rated very high among bank websites, despite the flaws in these generalevaluations—the concern with BoA is with furthering advertising their product (or products, includ-ing items for sale) than for creating a streamlined, accurate experience for their users. My belief isthat the BoA is aware of the amount of “fluff” that is on their site, not to mention the very contra-dictions inherent in its construction—that is to say, useful information about using the site is buried within it, while the less useful fluff is put forward.My theses are the following: A.
The information on the website is presented as a continued form of advertisement, not inthe spirit of instruction. Warnings about possible mistakes are not highlighted, as would bein any commercial software package. Graphics are distracting, and page layout is used toemphasize the “positive”—how easy and attractive each feature is—rather than the “nega-tive”—where you can make mistakes and the repercussions which, in this case, unlike in Adobe Photoshop or Facebook (or even free, very simple software programs on the web),can be detrimental to your bank balance. As an additional contrast, medical items such asinsulin pumps—I use one—always emphasize the possible dangers of misusing the software.B.
The information presented on the website is incomplete where it could easily be complete,given the availability of this information on other websites (I’m using the Wells Fargo web-site, as well as social networking sites—the types of sites that set the standard for most young people today—as comparisons). Examples of the incompleteness of this information in-clude:1)
only providing records of transactions for the past 6 months (or, on the “AvailableBalance History” page, 3 months), which, of course, is not enough information topermit review of previous overdraft charges to contest a history by the bank of abuses, or to cite precedents for seemingly reasonable behavior by a customer inregards to handling of funds2)
not providing information on checks that have been paid through Bill Pay on thesite that have not yet been presented to the bank,3)
spreading information about debit card purchases over several screens, reserving in-formation about PIN purchases to the main accounts page and reserving informa-tion about signed debit purchases to the Accounts History page (misleadingly titled