TreasuryDirect Wakes to 21st Century

Last night I received the news I've been waiting for at least 5 years.  Finally, TreasuryDirect is updating its archaic login process to the modern world.  The announcement on their website reads:

Important Notice: To make our customers' experience better, we're updating TreasuryDirect's authentication process. The change will make it easier for you to access your new account.

If you open an account now, we'll send you an access card in about two weeks which you'll use to login. The access card will soon be phased out, so it will only be needed for a short period of time.

The new process replaces the access card with an equally secure method of logging in. So, you may wish to delay opening your account until the new process is in place on or about November 4, 2011.

It's about time.  I'm sure this is coming as a result of numerous complaints and the fact that savings bonds will be exclusively sold through TreasuryDirect (& through tax refunds) and no longer at your local bank. 

Until this time TreasuryDirect you had to go through a step process that was simply ridiculous.  Yes, it was probably secure, but it was so painful to go through that even customers avoided it!  The old process involved:

  1. Click whether your account starts with a letter or a number.
  2. Enter your account number.
  3. Using the on-screen keyboard, enter your password by moving the mouse and clicking.
  4. Using the super secret decoder access bingo card we took 2 weeks to send you in the mail enter the numbers or letters associated with this sequence.  Again using the onscreen keyboard.

Although I have not seen the updated login process, it will most certainly be an improvement.  It's hard to imagine it being any worse!  I can only hope that the rest of the website will be overhauled soon as well.

Great to start the day with such good news.  Let's hope the transition is seamless.

What about you?  Are you rejoicing about this as much as I?

Posted in Savings Tagged with:
  • Security vs. usability. Some will argue that a physical token (printed card) is more secure than tokens sent via email, that may be accessible to intruders. I think SMS/text combines both ease and physical security of one time tokens.