My Favourite Transaction

Some time ago my bank here in Australia added a somewhat baffling new feature to all their cash machines. Now, every time I go to take money out, the machine asks me if I’d like to save this particular amount of money as my “favourite transaction” (which then gets saved on the initial screen so you can select it quickly next time).

I’m sorry, what now? I’m supposed to have a favourite transaction? Well I don’t remember them asking the pop stars of Smash Hits that question back in the 80s. To be honest, Mr NAB, before you asked I hadn’t even given a second thought to what my favourite amount of money to take out of my account at any given time might be. I guess it depends.

Perhaps the bank likes to think that its customers hang around discussing this, arguing High Fidelity-style about their top 5s (“…oh man, ‘fifty bucks from my savings account, no receipt, on-screen balance’ is where it’s at. Best. Transaction. Ever.”)

What makes this annoying is that even after you’ve given in and selected your favourite, it keeps asking you. Every time you select an amount that isn’t your favourite, the machine asks you if you’d like to save this one instead. Well if you think I’m so fickle that I want to change my favourite transaction every time I use your ATM, then you haven’t really understood the concept of a favourite, have you?

So they’ve added a feature of dubious usefulness at the expense of forcing everyone to click through an additional screen every time they use the machine. Hmm. I’d call that one a UI-fail.

It’s almost as annoying as those Barclay’s machines in the UK that ask you if you’d like an “advice slip”. I’m always slightly disappointed when the ensuing piece of paper that spews out of the machine just tells me how much is left in my account, rather than that I should “dump my partner”, “quit my job”, and/or “never eat yellow snow”.