Bank of America online “Hardware and Software Requirements”

Bank of America is asking me to agree to a “Electronic Communications Disclosure” which includes the following text:

(5) Hardware and Software Requirements

While you may be able to access and retain the Communications using other hardware and software, your personal computer needs to support the following requirements:

For Online Banking:

  • An operating system, such as:
    • Windows NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, or Win 7; or
    • Macintosh OS 10.x
  • Access to the Internet and an Internet browser which supports HTML 4.0 and 128bit SSL encryption and Javascript, such as:
    • For PC using Windows NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, or Win 7
      • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 and higher
      • Firefox 3 and higher
      • Chrome 3.0 and higher
    • For Macintosh using OS 10.x
      • Safari 3.0 and higher
      • Firefox 3 and higher
      • Chrome 4.0 and higher

For Merrill Lynch brokerage websites:

  • You must have access to a personal computer with browser software such as Microsoft Internet Explorer; Adobe Acrobat Reader; and Internet access (at your cost).
    • Browser and reader versions necessary to view the Merrill Lynch brokerage websites are as follows:
      • Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 and later
      • Firefox version 3.5 and later
      • Safari version 3.2 and later

Most Communications provided within Online Banking, Merrill Lynch brokerage websites or at other Bank of America websites are provided either in HTML and/or PDF format. For Communications provided in PDF format, Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or later versions is required – A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader may be obtained from the Adobe website at
Download Adobe Reader for free. Link opens new window.

In certain circumstances, some Communications may be provided by e-mail. You are responsible for providing us with a valid e-mail address to accept delivery of Communications.

To print or download Communications you must have a printer connected to your computer or sufficient hard-drive space (approximately 1 MB) to store the Communications.

Does this entire section say anything other than “You have to have an operating system and a web browser, and sometimes a way to view PDF files, and here are some programs you can use.”? Why bother writing it at all?

Atom Feed for Comments 15 Responses to “Bank of America online “Hardware and Software Requirements””

  1. Anonymous Says:

    At least it sanctions something newer than Firefox 1.0, though they should get their hands slapped for encouraging the use of IE 6. For shame…

  2. Kevin Brosnan Says:

    So they can CYA when someone running Windows 98, Firefox 2 and/or IE6 shows up in the support queue. Reduces the number of support paths they need to document in their troubleshooting flow chart. They can make a good faith attempt,

    “We suggest you clear your cookies/cache, however you are using an unsupported OS/Browser we do not have the resources to help you at this time. Please upgrade to a supported OS/Browser combination and we would gladly help you.”

  3. Benoit Jacob Says:

    It seems to exclude phones, as well as Linux computers, as well as the Opera browser…

  4. Dan Says:

    “To print or download Communications you must have a printer connected to your computer” – I’m glad you mentioned that, I was wondering why nothing was coming out!

  5. Dave Says:

    “Why bother writing it at all?”

    It’s a bank. If any employee of any bank ever writes anything simple and concise they’re taken into a secret room and tortured, probably by being forced to read all of their bank’s literature at once.

  6. Chris Fleming Says:

    Perhaps they’re saying that you can’t access the site from a mobile device or from linux….

  7. Mardeg Says:

    They did it just to show how much they hate Linux and Opera :P

  8. Bill Gianopoulos Says:

    This is very round-about way to say “Don’t bother calling our help line if you are running Linux, because our support people don’t know anything about Linux.”

  9. Robert Kaiser Says:

    Haha, this is nice, with a “such as” so that even if it doesn’t mention Linux, BSD, or such, it doesn’t even exclude it. Actually, I wonder why they bother with “an operating system” at all, as I don’t recall any device with a browser that doesn’t have an operating system. ;-)

    For the browser, they at least give you some requirements it needs to have, though I’m not sure if any current browser fails those.

  10. Boris Says:

    I recall this… I seemed to me like a cya move so they can tell you to scram if you complain that it doesn’t work with Lynx on BeOS… ;)

  11. Ian Thomas (thelem) Says:

    It’s probably some compliance thing – there are loads of rules governing how they do business, I bet one is “Must have clear and detailed minimum system requirements for any electric systems” or similar.

  12. Havvy Says:

    Will SumatraPDF work or not?

  13. Danny Moules Says:

    Technically if you use IE6 and get hacked because of insecure SSL, they’re not liable ;)

  14. Matthew Zimmerman Says:

    Why, then the lawyers wouldn’t have a job! Then they’d just run around suing everybody willy-nilly.

  15. Ryan Says:

    Although in all fairness their website works great with Linux, as long as you are using Firefox that is :)

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