1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply: May 21, 2007 6:10 AM by John Palmer
mjtlee Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
First Direct, a large UK internet banking service reknowned for its customer service, has just upgraded its security. There are many additional security checks (this is good) but now when you try to get to the secure site the message that Safari is not supported comes up and you are pointed to the Firefox website. The site will still work with old versions of Internet Explorer for Mac. First Direct previously had this restriction but you could work around by using the debug menu in Safari and changing the User Agent to something else (like MSIE 5.22). Now this does not work. I would prefer not to use Firefox or IE because it is more software, more updating, more possibility of bugs and diseases, more hassl, and it upsets me that my Apple kit won't work with what I thought of as an excellent banking service. Anybody have any work arounds? Can Safari be fixed or the User Agent reporting tweeked?

Thanks. John

2GHz 20" ICBM 2Gb RAM   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   + MacBook
  • 1. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    Marty J Level 4 Level 4 (3,020 points)
    I hate to say it, but the easiest thing to do is just use Firefox or Camino when you want to access that site. And make sure that you send an email to them suggesting that they make their website Safari compatible.

    I was once told by a bank that in the interests of security, I should switch to Internet Explorer! Sure, and I'll also leave my front door open at nights, and have my ATM PIN tattooed on my forehead, all in the name of "security".....:)
  • 2. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    Barry Hemphill Level 7 Level 7 (34,500 points)
    Hi mj:

    I agree with Marty. I have run into that problem myself and have used a Firefox workaround while (politely) E-mailing the offending site's technical support people. I have found that most businesses will try to respond to reasonable customer requests - and there are more than a few of us that use Apples, Safari, etc.

    Barry
  • 3. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    David_ B. Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    http://www2.banking.first-direct.com/1/2/

    Go to the link above, it bypasses the "we don't support Safari" screen for me, your mileage may vary. Click the green resize button on the window to get it to the right dimensions after you've logged in.

    I've used Safari with First Direct internet banking for over 2 years without any special debug hacks, so it obviously does work, but some IT Security person at HSBC has decided there most be some criteria that Firefox meets that Safari doesn't ? As such its at one's own risk if you decide to try to workaround the restriction HSBC have put in place. (?)
  • 4. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    David_ B. Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    but some IT Security person
    at HSBC has decided there most be



    BTW - I also regularly use Firefox at work as the only alternative is IE. Of the "other" browsers I find Firefox pretty good, stable, & is Mozilla offer regular updates to it, for security reasons etc...

    So I would recommend Firefox over the other non-Safari options.
  • 5. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK electronic bank - work around
    mjtlee Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Thanks David. Works a treat. I hope that my plaintive e-mail to First Direct may reach someone who cares too. John
  • 6. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK electronic bank - work around
    David_ B. Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    I suspect its probably a browser testing issue, i.e. HSBC IT dept. can only officially verify so many combinations of computer, OS + browser as being "supported". Perhaps that meant Safari got dropped off the list as they list Firefox on both Windows + Mac OS X.

    Below is the official word from HSBC.

    See: http://www.firstdirect.com/internetbanking/whatyouneed.shtml

    "It may be possible to access our internet banking service using other browsers or versions but please be aware that this will potentially impact on internet banking security levels and you are strongly advised not to do so."
  • 7. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    Gary i Level 5 Level 5 (6,190 points)
    Hi David. Although it does bypass its clearly not working as there are void run scripts which result in not being able to transfer money etc.

    I was told that Safari did not pass the required security for First Direct/HSBC

    Anyhow it works fine in Firefox, bit of a pain though.
  • 8. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    David_ B. Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Safari worked fine for me, transferring money etc., paying bills for the last 2 years, and was never specifically blocked.... until - this week when HSBC introduced their new login process.

    I logged in with Safari on Friday ok, but the make payment confirm button did not work. Now on Saturday one can't login at all - officially. So I don't totally buy the security story, I suspect they've bust support for Safari, but don't have budget to fix/test sort it out, plus the security stuff...

    Given that Firefox is running the same underlying java/web/network stack, & OS as Safari, I wonder if there is some feature that Firefox offers e.g. SSL version, web spoofing detection - that Safari doesn't.

    Hopefully they'll sort it out with Tiger ?
  • 9. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    mjtlee Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Sometimes you can have fun with things that irritate you. I am not hugely techie. However, I created a First Direct icon (following these basic instructions and using the Apple developer programme Icon Composer), then I replaced the Firefox.icns file in the Firefox package (right click the application and show contents), and now I have a window with no buttons, which opens directly to the First Direct page, and an icon which only displays the letters FD. What windy Saturday afternoons can be for when you can't get out on your bike. John
  • 10. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    mjtlee Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Sorry, instructions - http://www.macinstruct.com/node/59

    I know the techies can do these things easily; it wasn't too hard.
  • 11. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank
    John Palmer Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    http-//www2.banking.first-direct.com/1/2/
    seems to work for most things - thanks for the heads up.

    ...and if the Debug Menu is enabled, you can use "Open Page With..." to transfer the address to another browser.

    It seems strange that I have absolutly no problem logging into an HSBC account with Safari. (or LlloydsTSB, Halifax, INGDirect, and Bank of Scotland)


    G4 500 AGP (with 1.4 upgrade)   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • 12. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    David_ B. Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Hopefully they'll sort it out with Tiger ?


    Doh. Leopard - hopefully it might be sorted out in Leopard. I.e. when the world's most advanced OS (Tiger) widens the gap with the alternatives again ...
  • 13. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    Sarah24 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm so glad i read this. You're all so matter of fact. I am very cross at the supreme arrogance of First Direct - I received no advance warning that Safari would stop working, I just went to log in last night, expecting to find a different security procedure or something, but not being locked out of my own bank account!

    The chap I spoke to - among many platitiudes and non sequiturs that demonstrated he was completely out of his depth - said the change was to make their systems compatible with HSBC. When I pointed out that have an account witih HSBC and that works fine with Safari, he offered to put me through to the IT department so they could explain to me how to download Firefox!

    So judging by the theme of this thread, I'm going to download Firefox, I suppose.

    thank you
    Sarah


    Mac Book Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.7)  
  • 14. Re: Safari disallowed by First Direct UK (HSBC)  electronic bank - work around?
    gwaant Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I managed to signon and set my new password details O.K. on Friday; but when it came to paying a bill I was stuffed. You couldn't event sending a message to say that it doesn't work - It was the next button javascript that was broken. You couldn't even signoff because they use the next button to confirm the signoff.

    I thought it must have been some teething troubles so used a cheque to pay the bill I wanted to pay.

    Tried again today and see they are now checking the browser.. and the computer is saying no...

    I know I am being a bit of an idealist, but I've been using Safari with them for years and don't see why I should have to install another browser...

    ... So ... I just sat through the 7 minute hold to get through to the IT department (they called me back to wait so at least it wasn't my dime). The lady I spoke to was very friendly and is going to register a complaint for me. She told me they never offically supported Safari, and didn't really know who used what browser?!?! (This was the reason we were advised beforehand ... they didn't know Safari didn't work). Oh well she was very pleasant; said she would lodge a complaint and request that they would look at supporting Safari in the future.

    Mentioned that I wouldn't be installing Firefox, and that would mean I'd be calling for future banking, which will cost them more...

    O.K. in the big scheme of things it will make no difference, but I feel better, even if the 'registering a complaint' is just a fob off .....

    Grant.

    Cube   Mac OS X (10.4.4)  
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