The above banner ad appeared after completing a bill payment online. That banner ad was also present when completing a personal transaction. Note the banner's URL it is pointing to is outside the RBC secure online environment.
RBC Product Banner Ad
This practice is just plain wrong in so many ways.
It took the banking industry a long time to overcome the overwhelmingly negative psychology of doing our banking online. In my case, it took one of my former employers over a year to convince me just to try it.
Yes, once online, I was hooked. However, for the right or wrong reasons, it was very difficult to get me to that point.
To me, this is like depositing a product salesman into my living room without my permission to sell me something.
That "living room" experience for my online banking was one of the keys to getting comfortable with doing my banking online.
Perhaps for many that are used to having banner ads in their lives in virtually any online experience this may not be a problem.
But, our online banking is tied to our entire livelihoods. Any mistake on the part of the bank or a flaw in a browser that allows someone to somehow compromise my online session should be avoided.
And, for Pete's sake, I see banner ads everywhere! Do I have to see them while I conduct my personal and business online banking?!?
Again, I may be totally off base since I am not a browser coder or Internet security guru. However, perception is 80% of the battle...
The other aspect of this that really gets me: We are paying for our online banking service.
To put it another way: We are now paying the bank to advertise to us ... much in the way the movie theaters realized that they could get away with 10 minute mini commercials prior to the movie starting.
We pay for the online banking service through our business. We pay a flat fee to the bank for our personal online service.
If the bank wants to sell us something, do so through the company's regular Web site.
Next stop: Letter to RBC's President and CEO Gordon M. Nixon, Barbara Stymiest COO, and the RBC Office of the Ombudsman.
There are some things in life that should be left alone ... and our online banking experience is one of them.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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