Breaking Habit That Could Be Harmful

I did a stupid mistake today. I was gonna transfer money to a friend, say Robin. I logged in to my e-banking account, selected transfer, keyed in the amount, and then I chose the payee from the dropdown. The system asked me to confirm, and I had to key in OTP (One Time PIN) that’s sent to my iPhone. I keyed in the OTP, pushed the confirm button. Done. But in a few minutes I got a called from Robin saying that he didn’t get the money. I was surprised, because we’re using the same bank. “Oh No! This couldn’t be happening,” I realized that I might have sent it to a wrong account. And I did. I called the customer service, but there’s nothing they can do, since I’ve authorized the transfer. The good thing was that I had to select the payee from a predefined list of payee, so I know the guy, let’s call him Bruce. I called Bruce, and I told him that I’ve mistakenly sent him money. No big deal. It was a big deal actually! The money was needed in 1-2 hours, and it took like another 2-3 days for me to get the money back, because Bruce’s account is in a different bank.

How could this possibly happen? I had to confirm the transaction and keyed in OTP (One Time PIN), but still I made that mistake. This is similar to that ‘Are you sure you want delete this file?’ thingy. It doesn’t help much to make sure that we’re deleting the right file, especially if I’m in a hurry, because we know the behavior. The same and exact location of ‘Yes, I’m sure’ button. Something that we do over and over again becomes a habit. We can even do it without thinking. Same as my case in doing the transfer using my e-banking account.

So what’s the solution to this? The idea is to break the habit, to make people stop, and do something that’s different and unique for each of the transaction. So here’s my idea for e-banking transfer: aside from One Time Pin, user has to key in the first 5 characters of payee’s name. Simple, right? It forces the user to stop for a moment, read the Payee’s name, and keying in those characters into the textfield. I’m sure we can find another 1001 solutions to this, but this is what I think, can help us to break the habit that could be harmful.

I did a quick wireframe using Google Drawing:
e-Banking Transfer Verification

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