Thursday, March 03, 2011

Swiss Bank Initiation

So I am a proud owner of a Swiss bank account now. After being refused by UBS because of my American passport, I went to the postoffice next door at CERN, and voila they opened an account for me. Now I have been pointed out, rather unkindly, as I may add, that only the poor people in India open bank account in postoffices. However, in Geneva, a lowly postdoc is among the poorest of the society, so I cant really complain.

After signing a simple form saying I am allowing IRS full access to my account, they bright yellow card arrived by mail. Then a password for online banking. Armed with both, I tried login in online, but failed miserably in the first step, and it appeared one of the subsequent one involved using a machine. I went to the ATM, as I thought that would be the closet approximation of what one would mean by a machine, but turned out I need a PIN (which is no the online banking password, fair enough) to do anything at the ATM. Soon enough though, I received the 6 digit PIN. The fun was just beginning though.

Next I received this strange creature in my mail, with a long set of instructions on how to login to my account.

I was given an 7 digit ID number (which is of course neither my account number, nor printed anywhere on the card, and the browser can not be set to remember it) which I have to use to login, using the previously received password. Then the next screen will will spit out a number as , which I have to enter in my device to generate the one time access code. Using the device is not trivial, after inserting the card, I need my PIN (I have not figured a way to change it so far), then only I can enter the first number to generate the second one. Now I am in. I thought may be this was the first time setup, but no, every single login will involve this multistep fun.

They really take their security seriously.

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