Solving My Online Banking Problem Learning about One-Time Pin

Having finished three days of decision-making and planning, I had a loose end or two to tie up.

First, we had a short meeting with Giovanna to resolve a couple of building contract questions. While we were there, I had her call Banca Marche in San Ginesio to see if there was someone there would could help me with a little issue.

During my October trip, I opened a checking account to hold some euros and to have automatic payments made to the water and electric companies. As part of that, I was set up for online banking and given a password to log in.

Unfortunately, I waited too long to make my first login. It was after a couple of months when I just wanted to check my balance. The password didn’t work.

I wrote to the bank to get a new password, but I was told I had to do it in person. So my bank visit today was to take care of this little issue.

I was expecting that getting this done would be a long process, but I was wrong. There were no customers waiting and I just had to show my passport and sign a form and I was set.

This time, I was going to log in right away. Now, when I tried, it took the password and I was in. Now to check my balance.

Bana Marche OTP
One-Time Pin Device
Click image to enlarge

I was asked for another code. Hmm. Then I remembered this little device I’d been given in October and which I had luckily brought with me. It’s a small one-time pin generator and I learned that every time I logged in I needed to generate a new pin and enter it. This is certainly secure, but having to use this device was a pain.

An Update

After I returned home, I discovered that there is an iPhone app from Banca Marche that replaces this little device. Now, this whole process seems practical.

OTP device: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Opening a Bank Account and Writing Checks

With Giovanna’s (essential) help, I opened an account at the Banca Marche, in the San Ginesio branch. (Which branch turns out to have an interesting implication.) I gave them my passport and my Codice Fiscale. After signing a stack of documents and having the banker stamp them all with a rubber stamp, I had an an account, an ATM card, and access to Internet banking.

Banca Marche logoOne thing I learned here is that Italians don’t seem to like signatures in which the individual letters aren’t clearly visible. You can’t print; you must write neatly. This gave me a real problem, as I haven’t signed my name that way since about 1968. I had to labor over each signature, spelling out my name in my mind and then writing carefully.

Why is the branch important? On the checks, which Giovanna taught me to write, there is a blank for the branch. Write in the local branch and the check is good for one week. Write in another branch and it’s good for two weeks. Both seem like short windows to me, but that’s how it works.

I can see the two problems I’ll have: writing the date in the Italian fashion as D/M/Y and remembering to write out the amount in Italian, not in English. Duecento trentuno instead of two hundred thirty-one.

Logo: Nuova Banca delle Marche SPA