how to minimize the impact of banking technical glitches

BPI clients on Wednesday (June 7 2017) were alarmed while some got really frustrated and helpless seeing unauthorized withdrawals in their accounts. The giant bank has shortly clarified that the incident is not due to a system hack (which would be worse problem) and was a result of an internal system error.

Still, the consequences of this can be huge to its end users who may have to settle an urgent payment today, who need cash for their pressing needs and has no other alternative source, or have to do verification of transactions for their own personal and business purposes.

With the unavailability of user access to online channels, and the gravity and nature of transactions involved with people seeing their hard-earned money gone in an instant and not being able to withdraw, the unquantifiable emotional and financial impact can get really serious.

Security procedures are definitely in place in their system to avoid occurrence and alert possible error should they come out; but other factors may not have been considered in the past implementation and therefore no immediate solution could be applied with speed at the pleasure of the customers. The sad thing is some issues like this in scale may take some time to be resolved, depending on the complexity of its root cause and the needed verification procedure that everything is back to normal.

For clients like us, solving it is out of  our control and we can only wait for their constant updates.

But we can improve our personal financial system today and minimize the risk and hassle should we fall victim to this situation in the future.

(1) Maintain a different account in a different bank.

Even if these only contain the minimum maintaining balance, having this set up makes sure that you have another source of cash in case similar incidents happen.
Diversity is a good idea not only in investments but in cash reserves as well.

Also, preparing a part of your emergency fund in the form of cash is also a wise move.
While emergency fund is recommended to be placed in ATM accounts with the availability of ATM’s, it’s also a good idea to be cash-ready just in case.

(2) Settle bills before due date.

Give some time allowance and don’t wait until the due date before settling all your obligations.
Better safe than sorry with the late payment fees as penalties.

(3) Consider a passbook account.

Creating account that has a passbook included is also a good idea to have peace of mind knowing you have your own solid record of all your transactions whatever happens.

Life is seldom predictable.
But we can learn from our experience and do something to make the impacts of these uncertainties more manageable.

Have fun investing (with more peace of mind),
oMeng Tawid

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