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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

On Banking: How Safe Is Our Money?

A few months back, most of us suddenly found ourselves with zero bank balance or for some, with their savings / checking accounts ballooning to great proportions from a few thousands to millions of peso. I've read a lot of rants about it and even the bank seem to be at a loss until they were able to figure everything out and everything went back to normal.

Of course, there is still the question of safety. I mean, most of us keep our money in bank because we feel that it is safer there than having wads of cash at home. But did you know that there's another incident wherein another bank had a similar experience about a month or so after? I find this second bank incident quite scary since I was out of the country when it happened and I don't want to check my bank online lest some evil hackers drained my bank account.

At times like these, we really feel helpless since one knows about the headache and stress involve in dealing with such thing. Luckily, amidst our rants and panic, these banks (including mine) were able to win back our trust back by putting every thing back into its proper place (our savings).

Then there's this fiasco with yet another bank (gosh, banks are getting to be quite in the hot seat lately) wherein a bank employee was arrested for stealing millions from a bank branch in Pasig and transferring the money to the bank's Caloocan branch. I'm sure everyone has heard about it and that latest incident brought up a lot of our worries about our money's safety in banks. Union Bank was very pro-active and was able to apprehend the thief and trace the dubious bank transfer.

I had my own tale to share although it was a totally different scenario. So one time, my daughter forgot to tell me before leaving for school that she needed some money for a project and that there were some school fees to pay. And since I don't have my checkbook with me that time, we went to the nearest ATM outside her school. I wasn't able to withdraw because the machine suddenly went offline or something, and didn't dispense any money. I have no choice but to go inside my daughter's school to get money from the ATM there. And you know what, I found out that my account has been debited. Oh no! It's quite a hassle but I don't have any choice but to go to my bank and report the incident. Luckily, I always check the ATM balance and have receipts to prove it. I spoke to the bank's customer service department and was told that they will investigate and said that they'll be updating me and that it will take roughly three weeks to settle it. Its not that a big amount but hey, its my money and this is the first time I encountered something like it. Of course I was fuming mad about it but I also felt helpless and yes, I even thought about transferring my money elsewhere. But things turned out well in the end and I got a call from the bank's customer service department that the money has been credited back to my savings account. Hurray!

And you know what, at the end of the day, even if these banks got hacked or a bank employee stole millions of money, our money is still safer there than it is at home. I can sleep soundly that our banks will do their best to fix things, loopholes, and other whatnots so that "us," their valued clients will feel safe.


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