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Bank of America has a "Safepass" option for online banking. It sends you one-use 6-digit codes each time you want to perform a sensitive transaction. It is billed as making your online banking secure, and so it does. But the more interesting application for my purposes is that it increases direct transfer limits to other BofA customers from $1K to $10K per day.

Most customers receive the codes via SMS messages to their portable device. These messages are free (save for any SMS charges your carrier bills). SMS messages have never worked for me, and both BofA and T-Mobile have been stumped as to why. After brainstorming with glxpass, I now think that's because even though my BofA bank account is based in NH, my prepaid phone number is in WA, and the service isn't listed as available in WA or ID.

So, I've opted for the other option: a credit-card sized smart card. It costs $20 one-time, and they say that covers all replacement costs. So far, it's worked great.

The one issue I'm having is limits. At one point, I was told you can request higher limits than $10k/day, $25k/week...but I've had no luck finding anyone who can help make that happen, either in branch or via customer service.

So, I'd appreciate anyone's intel on how to raise these limits. In the meantime, I'd be glad to answer answer any questions I can about using this service.

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safe pass
Thanks mewhojen
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I never had any luck, but I didn't try very hard. Your best avenue is probably by your local branch manager rather than the national customer service folks. They really don't like circumventing the limits because it increases their liability for potential fraud.

I'm sure your relationship manager would do a lot to fix this if they think you'll leave the bank over this issue.

This a personal account or a business account?

scrouds said:   I'm sure your relationship manager would do a lot to fix this if they think you'll leave the bank over this issue.That assumes I have such a person. I did have a premier banker before they phased out that division, but I don't have a contact person assigned to me or even a reliable goto person.
This a personal account or a business account?Personal.

How much and how often are you trying to transfer?

hu? I think it is free

SleekWallet said:   hu? I think it is free
The SafePass card isn't free, but sending the SafePass code to your cell phone is (unless you are charged for receiving text messages). Unfortunately, OP doesn't seem to have that option.

Click on the How it Works tab here.

LiquidSilver said:   How much and how often are you trying to transfer?In some weeks I need to transfer > $75K, rather than the $25K I understand they allot. A $25-50K per day limit would be nice also. I'd have no problem if such limit increases were provided gradually.

You could always try an intermediary like ally.com to do the transfer. I just have a basic account and have a $1,500,000 monthly transfer limit (6 free transfers a month). The two days in, two days out would mean it would take about a week to transfer the money, but you could at least get it done. That is assuming BOA doesn't have a limit on other banks doing an ACH pull, and that waiting isn't going hamper whatever you are doing with the money.

Thanks for your post, Liquidsilver. I'm well aware of these alternatives, and have a few available myself. I'm pursuing this because of my interest in getting funds moved immediately.

1. Get google voice with a NH number
2. Forward calls and texts to cell phone
3. Profit!!!

scripta said:   1. Get google voice with a NH number
Can anyone confirm that a google voice number outside WA/ID will work with the service? I had heard reports that GV wouldn't work with the service.

Their business accounts are much more suited to what you need to do. Customizable limits per user and multiple methods to xfer (direct, ACH, Fedwire.) It's not free though.

I have no experience with this, but I've been using GV as my primary for over a year... I've never had any problems at all, it's a real phone number purchased by google, no different than any other.

If there are problems, I'd suspect your cell provider as they are known to attempt all kinds of BS with GV.

I can confirm that Google Voice CANNOT receive these texts. GV doesn't take SMS messages from (at least some) automated services. See Google forum post.

Well, I tried.

I also thought that the only reason it might not work is if the sender actually asks which carrier you have.

JeebusSaves said:   I can confirm that Google Voice CANNOT receive these texts. GV doesn't take SMS messages from (at least some) automated services. See Google forum post.

Same here, never been able to have a gVoice number work to receive BofA automated safepass text messages

DaveHanson said:   scrouds said:   I'm sure your relationship manager would do a lot to fix this if they think you'll leave the bank over this issue.That assumes I have such a person. I did have a premier banker before they phased out that division, but I don't have a contact person assigned to me or even a reliable goto person.
This a personal account or a business account?Personal.


You don't have a personal banker? Its not really a personal service, just their title. Would be working at the branch your account is at. Relationship managers are for business accounts (which I assumed and actually have experience with)

I would say go into a branch and do it, but they'll probably push for a wire, and who wants to spend the cash. You may just be bumped into the max limit for regular accounts. Unless you're rich enough to be in the private banking / wealth management crowd, you might just be sol.

DaveHanson said:   scripta said:   1. Get google voice with a NH number
Can anyone confirm that a google voice number outside WA/ID will work with the service? I had heard reports that GV wouldn't work with the service.


I can confirm that GV does NOT work with this service. No idea why, but I had to use my actual cell number. Never got the text when I used my GV number.

I just talked with a BoA CSR supervisor, and here's what I found out. Keep in mind that this is relevant to Online Banking transfer limits, not BoA customer-to-BoA customer transfers done at the branch, where you can push anything to the other BoA deposit account holder up to your available balance.

* BoA has 3 customer segments and the maximum transfer daily/weekly amounts vary. They are capped, even with SafePass, as follows:

Preferred customers: anyone with less than $250K in BoA deposit and investment accounts (including Merrill Lynch):
$10K/day, $25K/week.
I guess I can no longer feel even slightly snobbish at being called a preferred customer.


Wealth Management customers: requires at least $250K in BoA deposit and investment accounts. It's unclear if the investment account balance must be > 0; the quotes I've seen say something like "investable funds", which tells one what BoA really wants.
$25K/day, $50K/week.

U.S. Trust (Private Banking) customers: requires at least $500K in BoA deposit and investment accounts.
$50K/day, $70K/week. I think. My chicken scratch notes don't make this clear, so don't quote me.

I'm told the reason the online limits are relatively low is that BoA is concerned about both theft and money laundering. For example, theft could consist of one person finding out another person's account information (it's not uncommon for the thief to be an acquaintance of the victim), transferring the funds to their BoA account, and transferring from there to an overseas account.



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