This quick note may be relevant for you if you bank with HSBC and usually pay your tax to HMRC through HSBC, especially if you leave the payment for the last moment.

As you probably noticed, not long time ago, HSBC has changed the UX for its online banking. In the process of making things easier for the customer they took a decision on your behalf that your infrequent payees should not show anymore in your list of payees. This fabulous decision surfaces when you want to do an annual payment like your taxes for example.

HMRC is for me an infrequent payee — I pay them once per year, somewhere in January so I discovered only now what joy the HSBC online banking digital transformation brought me. Surprised to notice that HMRC and a number of other payees have vanished, I started to re-create the HMRC payee. I’ve got an error message that the payee already exists and you cannot re-create it. This sort of error should have been discovered somewhere in unit testing, but here we are…

For staying too long on the payment page, a chat window pops up and here is Vijay form Customer Support, keen to assist.

After waiting for Vijay for around 10 minutes to figure out things, I log on HMRC website and make the payment through WorldPay. I stay online though, hoping that Vijay can assist me to get back the vanished payees. After a while he tells me that he is ready to take the payment to which I inform him that I’ve done the payment while waiting for him however I want my payees back. He cannot help. He also cannot log on anywhere the error I reported.

He recommends me that I log on a complaint and sends me the link. I log on the complaint and soon I receive an e-mail that they cannot solve this problem because they cannot authenticate me. They recommend me to call Customer Support.

Not wanting to waste my time the same way I did on HSBC chat, I prefer to write this post hoping that HSBC will take note of it and repair the error before thousands of people will notice on 31st of January that they cannot pay their tax.

Banking Systems Architect. Curious. Antifragile.