Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Warning: HSBC Direct/Mozilla Firefox compatibility problems

A couple of weeks ago I dutifully created my new "Security Key" that is now required (along with a username and password) to log on to the HSBCDirect.com web site, and all was well until I attempted to log in to my account this morning. After a few failed login attempts, a message appeared indicating that my account had been locked and that I should call HSBC's Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-975-HSBC (1-800-975-4722) to resolve the issue.

I initially was connected with a CSR whose spoken English was, to be kind, a bit difficult to understand. Fortunately, he seemed to understand my issue and promptly transferred me to a knowledgeable (and well spoken) CSR. When the second CSR asked what web browser I was using (Mozilla Firefox 1.5), he immediately knew what the problem was.

According to this CSR, Firefox 1.5 (and Firefox 2.0 to a lesser degree) has intermittent problems reading HSBC's new Security Key. I was told that the Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape web browsers don't have this problem, and that one of them should be used to access the HSBC web site until the issue is resolved in Firefox. Fortunately, all was well after he reset my Security Key and I logged in to HSBCDirect.com using Internet Explorer 7.

I immediately bit the bullet and upgraded Firefox to version 2.0, and I will continue to hold my nose and use Internet Explorer when accessing the HSBC web site. I encourage all other HSBC customers to do the same to avoid being locked out of their HSBC account.


  • Curiuos as to what exact settings you have in Firefox 1.5. I have been using it and the HSBC Security key settings for some time, and I can login with no issue. I have Firefox, it is running on the default settings for the browser though.

    That setup for me causes no issues.

    By Blogger Lokide, at 12/6/06, 9:52 AM  

  • I was using Firefox with my settings optimized by FireTune (Fast Computer/Fast Connection profile).

    This combo worked fine for me with the Bank of America site key functionality, so it's not clear to me what the issue with HSBC Direct was.

    By Blogger Frugal Frugalson, at 12/6/06, 10:46 AM  

  • I am using too...but didn't run into problems. I log in to two HSBC Direct accounts pretty frequently. Seems like some random glitch.

    In fact I had problems with Firefox 2.0 and Yodlee, but haven't investigated that in detail yet.

    By Anonymous golbguru, at 12/6/06, 7:23 PM  

  • I was trying to find more detail on FireTune. Looks like it alters your browser settings. If the online keyboard is in java and some settings were altered that could be your problem.

    If you tried in other browsers and Firefox is the only one with issues, it could just be the settings.

    By Anonymous Lokide, at 12/7/06, 10:59 AM  

  • I have had this problem with HSBC as well. I contacted customer service and was never asked about my browser. Thank you for writing about this. I am sure it will save me a lot of stress in the future!

    By Anonymous bespeckled, at 12/10/06, 4:50 PM  

  • I am using Firefox version, and I cannot even sign up for HSBC Direct!
    Try going to https://www.hsbcdirect.com/1/2/1/ then click the gray 'sign me up' button, then the 'start application' on the next page. The browser just keeps going back and forth between two pages, never loading a full page.

    Curse you HSBC! I want your interest rates but am not going to sacrifice my favorite browser to do so. Get with the program!

    By Anonymous Luke, at 3/6/08, 4:03 AM  

  • luke,

    E*Trade's Complete Savings account is a better deal at the moment anyway, with a 4.1% APY and a $25 signup bonus: link.

    By Blogger Frugal Frugalson, at 3/6/08, 7:36 AM  

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