HSBC customers urged to check payments after ‘potentially disastrous’ app update

HSBC offers advice on saving money for 'The Long Game'

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HSBC has updated its banking app and a small change could catch some users off guard. Going forward, users will need to be especially careful with where they place decimal points. explained prior to the update, users entered the amount they wanted to transfer in pence, but now they need to use a decimal point to enter the value in pounds and pence.

Twitter user Paul Cardno illustrated how important this seemingly small change is.

He said: “Potentially disastrous UX change from @HSBC_UK on their mobile app. They’ve changed the way the ‘amount’ input works on transfers with no clear signal of the change. It’s highly likely people will transfer 100 times the planned amount by mistake.

“It used to be that as you typed, it started with pence. So if you type three then four it would be 0.34. If you typed 3456 it would be £34.56. No way to enter a decimal point, you just needed to type the complete value in. As of the new version, there’s no pence.

“Removing pence but showing nothing to demonstrate that the input has changed nearly had me transfer £17,016 onto my credit card, instead of £170.16. That transaction can’t be recalled. Thankfully, I didn’t have that in my current account so it declined.”

Mr Cardno warned this change may end up costing users hundreds of pounds and where large amounts would be transferred to third parties, the money “would be lost”.

HSBC has confirmed it is aware of the issue and may be reviewing the problem.

Another Twitter user, John White, got a response from HSBC UK.

He said: “Please review your new app for the iPhone. Horrible layout, removal of important detail, don’t update us you are removing auto decimal point.

“Why did you feel the need to change from a great app to this. Review comments in AppStore as many state the same.”

HSBC UK responded: “Thank you for your feedback John, these and the reviews on the app store will be read and taken into account , to help us improve the app, its features and ease of use going forward.”

HSBC also confirmed to it had rolled out an update to its UK mobile banking app in Android and iOS over the past month, which included updating its payment format for transfers and standing orders to “bring it in line with most other industry providers”.

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HSBC noted “thousands” took part in user testing the changes before they were rolled and “no adverse impact was identified”.

These changes will likely become more prevalent over the coming weeks as HSBC recently put a lot of emphasis on its mobile app. In early December, HSBC UK announced customers will be able to invest from £50 in just five easy steps via its mobile banking app.

This move came as research commissioned by the bank showed one in four adults aged 18-34 have never considered investing. Two thirds of this age group (64 percent) said investing is difficult to navigate, while six in 10 (62 percent) think they don’t have enough money to invest.

As such, to help “break down these barriers to investing”, HSBC UK added an investment feature to its mobile banking app. Users can open a Global Investment Centre account and choose from a selection of 10 ready made HSBC global strategy portfolios with different risk ratings.

This includes five HSBC sustainable fund portfolios which aim to invest more in companies with a higher ESG score average and a lower carbon footprint than the market.

James Hewitson, Head of Wealth Management at HSBC UK, commented: “Around 389,000 of our customers aged under 35 have sufficient assets to invest but are currently not doing so.

“If you have an emergency fund of three to six months of living costs and can afford to put away at least £50 a month, then investing can really help you grow your money.

“On top of that, 64 percent of HSBC customers are digitally active.

“Our online advice service, HSBC My Investment, already provides an accessible and low cost route to investing for novices.

“With the addition of mobile, we’re offering more opportunities for savers to try out investing and make their money work harder.”

Customers who wish to utilise these features can start investing from £50 a month or a lump sum of £1,000 either through HSBC’s online investment advice platform, My Investment or the Global Investment Centre (GIC).

Currently, some 62 percent of My Investment users are first time investors. Help and support on investing is available seven days a week from our UK based team via Live Chat.

The investments featured on mobile is part of a range of updates made to the HSBC app in the last few months. Customers can now change their address, manage subscriptions and raise disputes through the app for the first time.

Customers will need to download a new version of the HSBC mobile banking app in order to access the Investments feature. The new update is available from the App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android.

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