I’ve long been a customer and fan of ING Direct. They were one of the first online banks that offered a high yield savings rate worth worth talking about and they coupled it with the most functional website I’d ever seen. They set the standard for online banking. They were offering you the capability to open up CDs with just a few clicks back when every other bank required you to go into the branch and put pen to paper.
They also started offering something that I think will also become standard – the ability to create a special password that only gives read access to your account. One of the knocks against using a personal finance tools, like Mint.com, is that you have to give them completely access to your account. Those services all have top notch security that has yet to be breached, you’re more likely to get your data stolen when you shop at your local store, but it’s still a concern that stops many people from using those services.
Creating a read only password is easy, just log in and click on My Info in the top navigation bar. There is a special Personal Finance Access Code that has a “Create Code” link, click that. ING Direct will generate a string of numbers and letters that you can use as your password on tools like Mint.com. This means that even if someone were to steal your information off Mint, they wouldn’t be able to do any damage through your ING account (they’d be able to peek inside, but they couldn’t do anything).
I expect this to be standard very soon.