Joint No Fee PC Financial Accounts are Dis – Jointed

Not that long ago, my husband and I opened a joint no fee chequing account at PC Financial. We linked it to our joint bank account at one of the Big 5 Canadian banks to make it easier to transfer in funds. I set up some bills and paid them successfully from the account. I also managed to order some new cheques and have used them to pay for several school-related expenses. But every so often I’ve encountered a surprising quirk. It appears to me that the account isn’t really being treated like a “joint” account at all. In fact, it seems rather dis – jointed at times.

Two Joint Chequing Accounts are Linked by PC Financial but Only One Spouse Knows It

The first clue that something was odd was when weeks after my husband requested an electronic link between our Big 5 bank joint chequing account and our PC Financial joint chequing account nothing seemed to be done. Daily for two weeks, I would login to check whether I could transfer money into our account from our other account.

Finally I used my brain and considered why it might not be linked. I had my husband login to the PC Financial account using his card number and his password: and there it was: the option to make a transfer to or from our Big 5 bank account.

Why didn’t this option show up when I logged in using my card and password?  As both accounts are joint, it doesn’t make any sense to me. I explore this further in PC Financial’s Computer Can’t Believe My Husband and I Want to Share Our Joint Bank Account.

Honey, Could You Please Pay That Gas Bill from our PC Financial Bank Account?

The next clue that this Joint account was being treated as two separate accounts came when we needed to pay the bills. Usually I pay them because I am a major control freak, er, like to stay on top of our financial details. Because of another commitment, I asked my husband to pay a bill instead.

Obligingly, he logged in and clicked on the “bill payments” link. Instead of being greeted by the usual list of various bloodsuckers, er, companies whose services we purchase, he saw a cold blank screen stating:

“To pay bills, you must Add bills to your personal bill list.”

Yes, he would have to re-enter the same information I had already put in for each company if he wanted to pay all of our regular bills. This is a JOINT account. Doesn’t that seem rather silly?

Why Don’t You Just Use Each Other’s Cards and Passwords?

If I use my husband’s card and password to login to our joint account, he is liable if there is ANY security breach and theft from our account. So, no, sharing passwords is not an option.

Only One of Us Gets Warned of Cool Deals

The final clue was when I was perusing the Personal Finance section on Red Flag Deals. Someone announced a 2% interest deal on new contributions to a PC Financial Account. They said they received a personal message about the promotion when they logged in to their account.

I was a bit puzzled when I logged in to our account and didn’t find a similar message. I re-checked Red Flag, wondering if the information was about some old, expired deal. No. It started in July 2013.

When my long-suffering husband had time, I asked him to login to his side of our “joint” account. Sure enough, he received the promotional message!

Are These Problems Bad Enough to Cancel our PC Financial No Fee Account?

I don’t consider any of these problems to be so severe that we will withdraw our business from PC Financial. But I do find them all irritating. When an account is joint, I expect it to be equitable. It’s annoying to feel like a second-class citizen because my online bank treats me as a lesser stakeholder in our joint account.

The solution seems simple to me. Have one account number to login with and one password. Both parties should use it. If necessary, have the option of a secondary method of access based on the debit card number and its unique password.

It doesn’t seem particularly reasonable to me that to make the system work as it is now, I either have to get my husband to do all the transfers and get me to pay all the bills, or to have to submit more paperwork to set it up so I can do the transfers and to have to re-key all sorts of account numbers so he can pay the bills.

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