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Online banking - Second signature?

Online banking - Second signature?

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Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to achieve second signature authorisation for online bank accounts?

Many business bank accounts require two signatures on cheques larger than, say, £1,000 but is there a way to achieve the same for online banking?


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05th Mar 2010 10:05

Should be matched to your instructions mandate


everywhere i've worked the banks have linked the on-line authorisation to the mandate so where two signatures required then two on-line signatures were requested by the system. Similarly for limits, someone with a £5K limit couldn't authorise a £6k on line payment.

Are you encountering difficulties?


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05th Mar 2010 10:34

Online accounts - one ID

The problem our client is mentioning is that their online account only requires one userID & password, so one person has total control over the online banking.

Under the old system their cheques needed two signatures.  They would like to replicate this system and I'm not sure how the bank could seek two online authorisations to match their mandate. 

I'd be grateful for details of any online bank accounts with two log-on ID's needed to authorise payments that you are aware of.



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By Phillip
05th Mar 2010 10:47

It may be to do with the type of account

If your client has a small business account it may be an option to look at upgrading it.

For example BoS have online banking and then they have corporate banking. The corporate system allows an administrator to set up authorisation levels for different payment types ie BACS/CHAPS/Foreign. And also how many authorisations are required for different payment types.

This would achieve what you are looking for - however, the catch as always they will probably charge you more for this set up than the existing one.

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By hugogod
05th Mar 2010 10:58

2 authorisation online banking

Nat West Bankline.

I have just set up online banking for a charity. This was relatively easy to set up. In this case all payments required 2 authorisations but Bankline can certainly be arranged to enable a limit for 2 authorisations.  

Each signatory has their own login and authorise separately the list of payments.

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By zxcvb
05th Mar 2010 14:07

Natwest Bankline

We use Natwest Bankline - although it is not free (we pay around £130 per month for 35 accounts).  But it is very flexible in setting up single & multiple "signatories".


One issue though is that bankline authorisations overide any written ones - for example I can set a user up to be able to authorise payments on an account they cannot sign cheques for!!

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05th Mar 2010 15:51

Must be set up correctly

Perfectly possible to set up two users authorisations being needed for Natwest and you do not have to both be there at the same time - when user 2 logs in at whatever future point he/she will see outstanding authorisations.  It is however a bit fiddly.

In order to set this up however, ONE user will have to be the admin - which means they can at a later day go back in as admin and change the requirement for 2 users - although user 2 will need to authorise the change!

Confused?  I just confused myself!

It certainly does NOT automatically follow that the authorisation procedure online is the same as the bank mandate.  I also have a feeling that the instrucitons are not amount specific - i.e. ALL items would need to be counter authorised, not just ones over £1000 (for example).

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By zxcvb
05th Mar 2010 16:13

Amount specific instructions

"I also have a feeling that the instrucitons are not amount specific - i.e. ALL items would need to be counter authorised, not just ones over £1000 (for example)."




Bankline allows you set set a "dual authoristation threshold"

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05th Mar 2010 16:40


Well there you go!

Many thanks!

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05th Mar 2010 16:43

Given the demise of cheques

I find the above quite worrying. It seems that there is going to be more scope than ever for the unscrupulous to milk small charities and similar bodies - to say nothing of how they would meet the fees to have the sort of banking describted. I've been involved in the aftermath where money has been stolen from small local groups & suspect it is seen as easy pickings by some. I just hope that banks are encouraged to do more to protect such entities when they do finally abolish cheques.

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05th Mar 2010 16:53

Barclays BusinessMaster is great!

Barclays still use the old dialup scenario for their BusinessMaster product.  I have always found this to be much more convenient as all data is stored on your local PC once downloaded, so you can look anything up without having to reconnect each time.

They supply a random number generator, similar to a pocket calculator, and this has user 1, 2 etc.  They can set their system up so that limits and authorisations are fixed at their end; the only sensible Admin task is to re-set user passwords.  The actual users are set up by Barclays so employees cannot set up M Mouse as a user.

When you send any cash OUT of the system it requires one user to enter the transaction and another to authorise it before it can be transmitted, at which point it sends a code which, when keyed in the device, produces a new code which must be input on the system.

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By Anonymous
11th Mar 2010 12:09

Another option ...

How about Unity Bank?

They have a small corporate book of customers, in addition to the providing banking services for their core areas of not for profit orgs and trade unions.

Cheque book signatories are not the same as for internet banking, which gives us some added flexibility. Also, like other accounts, the internet banking cannot have levels built in i.e. all payments have one, two (or three!) signatories regardless of the amount. You can also set a different number of signatories for transferring funds between your own Unity bank accounts and for external payments.

And the customer service is superb, and quite personal. The phones are always answered by a 'live' human voice, not 'press one for ...'

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By Anita14
11th Mar 2010 13:55

Second Signatures

CAF Bank online system allows one user to set up a payment instruction which doesn't actually take place until a second user logs on to authorise.  An email alerts other authorised users when a payment instruction has been made.  You can also see the status of recent payments - whether they have been successful, lapsed (not authorised in time) or awaiting authorisation. 

You can give online access to someone who is not a cheque signatory, subject to all the usual security checks.

CAF Bank offers free banking to charities.

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