Unionbank’s EON for the Digital Me: Unlimited Frustration & Terrible User Experience
Some 6 or 7 years ago, when I started earning money from blogging and online freelance work, I needed a way to receive payments from clients and earnings from online advertisement. Back then, PayPal was the easiest way of receiving funds online. The other option was coursing it through the banks which asked for a lot of requirements in opening an account and charged fees for remittances. Then I found out about Unionbank’s EON account which was specifically created for online transactions. It didn’t require a maintaining balance, opening an account was cheap and it came with a Visa debit card that was accepted in most online stores and worked well with PayPal.
Fast forward to December 2017, my EON Visa debit card reached its expiry so I went to a Unionbank branch to have it replaced. It was then I learned that Unionbank has ‘upgraded’ the EON brand to ‘EON for the Digital Me’ – a fancier spin that added features for today’s social media environment. It now comes with an EON app for both Android and iOS, and allows loading up your account through partners like 7-Eleven, Bayad Center, etc instead of just making a branch deposit which is much of a hassle. It also now allows one to pay for bills, shop online, buy prepaid load all from the app.
The app itself is designed to be secure – logging in via face recognition or selfies, finger print scan (if your phone has a fingerprint scanner) and using a username and password combination.
It all sounds great and I was actually excited to receive my new card as it’s also been upgraded to have an EMV chip for more security. However, my experience with requesting for the new card up until actually trying to make the app work has been a terrible and frustrating.
At the Unionbank branch, I was told to go the new EON website as new sign ups and card replacement requests were coursed through it. Sounded simple and convenient enough? No. The registration process required one to take a selfie with the government IDs I submitted as proof of identity on top of the photos or scans of the IDs. After waiting for more than a week, I was told only after making a follow up that I needed to re-submit a selfie with my IDs as the first one did not show the details of the ID that well. After almost two weeks as opposed to their ‘promised’ 1 week of card availability, I finally got my new card on the first week of January.
That’s correct, Unionbank gave me two new EON Visa Debit cards. The one labeled ‘main card’ is the replacement card I requested which is linked to my EON account. It bears my name and account number. It’s has a new design and an EMV chip for security.
The one labeled ‘extra card’ was a surprise as no mention of it was made by anyone from Unionbank, its website or any other promo material. So what was the other card for? Promotion of the new EON through word-of-mouth. It was specifically made to be given to others who are non-EON users. Combining it with the new EON app it’s a way of getting new EON users and competing against similar debit card/online payment services like PayMaya or BPI’s Amore debit cards. Did I give it away? No, as I can’t think of someone I know who would be interested in using it.
Unable to link the card to the app
Alright, as it wasn’t mentioned in the brochure that came with the cards, I was under the impression that my new main EON card could be easily linked to Unionbank’s online banking service as I wasn’t able to link to the app. Puzzling as first but just resigned to the assumption that the EON app was primarily meant for the extra card as I was easily able to link the two.
So I went to Unionbank’s main website, opened the portal for EON accounts but it would not just accept the new card. I called customer service thinking that I just needed to re-activate the account but it still did not work. Calling the new EON hotline was useless as the wait time was just beyond my personal limit of 10 mins. So I raised my concern through their Facebook page which seems to be the only way to get some real help from Unionbank nowadays.
It was only then that I was told that when I received my new EON debit card, my access to their old/legacy EON online banking was disabled as all EON users are now being moved over to the EON for the Digital Me service. So it was another two days of waiting for the FASTREG code needed to link my new EON debit card to the EON app. The code was given to me last Tuesday, it’s now Thursday and I’m still unable to link the card because the app – the latest version – is buggy as shit.
It keeps on asking me to enable the Secure Lock Screen feature on my Android phone when it’s already been enabled. Escalated it to the EON support whom as of this writing is still investigating the issue. Other users have similar complaints based on the review comments on the EON app’s page on the Play Store.
Truly saddening to see a once great product ruined by a re-branding that was not thoroughly thought through. If this doesn’t get resolved by Monday, I’d just dump EON and switch over to PayMaya which has been super convenient and reliable ever since my experience with the new EON turned into a terrible train wreck.