Currently, every hour, I auto-run a script which I painstakingly coded (they really don’t make it pleasant/simple). This script does a series of HTTPS requests from my computer to log in to my “Internet bank” as they call it (that is, my bank’s website) in the “simplified login” method, and finally saves down a CSV file representing the account’s latest transactions into my local database. This “simplified login” (normally used by a human, manually) only requires you to enter a personal identifier (social security number) and a pin code, and allows you to view the last three months’ transactions, see the current balance and whether there are new unread “internal mail” (support tickets).
In less than two months, they will permanently remove this “simplified login”, leaving only the obnoxious “full login”, which requires a human (me, that is) to sit with a special dongle and input numbers into it and on the website form.
In other words, it will very soon be impossible to automate unless I create a highly complex mechanical contraption which physically inserts my Visa card into the dongle every hour, presses “Log in”, presses the buttons for my pin number, presses “OK”, optically reads the numbers displayed on the little LCD screen, feeds these into the form on the website, and then does the same as my script currently does. In other words, “doable for somebody with extreme motivation and a lot of engineering skills”, but “practically impossible” (for me). I have no means to create such a “metal man”, not to mention it would cause a lot of “wear and tear” and battery drainage on the dongle. Not to mention it’s absolutely insane.
I have exactly zero use for any “smartphone app”, “SMS notifications”, “digital id” software, etc. They have consistently “acted stupid” whenever I have asked about this, and their so-called “open API” is not at all open; they don’t say it outright, but they have let me know subtly in private that their API is not for individuals, and not even for small companies, but only large ones and institutions. And that’s all there is to that, as far as they are concerned.
I need to be able to fetch the latest transactions in an automated manner, not involving any special hardware or software.
“Changing banks” is not an option for several reasons. One reason is that the others are just the same.
They seem entirely disinterested in “selling me API access”, “upgrading my account” or anything like that. Their one objective appears to be to cripple their normal customers as much as possible, and to push them into using consumer-mindset surveillance units (“smartphones”). I will now be forced to constantly manually log in to “my” account (I can’t really call it “my account” at this point) and manually save down the CSV file, or remember to manually input every single transaction locally for all time to come. The latter “solution” is very problematic due to fluctuating amounts and things like “reserved prices” which are then “settled” a couple of weeks later. (And of course means a ton of error-prone manual work all the time.)
It’s laughable how incredibly worthless “Internet banking” is in 2020. If you had said to a computer enthusiast in 1980 that, 40 years into the future, we can’t even fetch the account balance in an automated fashion, they would look at you as if you were mad. Yet, here we are, in the “wonderful future” where there’s endless talk about “AI” and “cloud” and “machine learning” and “automation”, yet I can’t even fetch a number from my local bank…
Is there some serious attempt at a global decentralized P2P bank? I already use Bitcoin Core and Bisq, but almost nobody else does, so they have very limited use in spite of being theoretically wildly useful.