BPI system glitch hits clients in NegOcc

BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) clients in Negros Occidental, especially automated teller machine (ATM) cardholders, were also affected by the bank’s system glitch on Wednesday, June 7.

A number of clients trooped to BPI-Bacolod Main Branch on Araneta Street for over-the-counter transactions after electronic channels, including ATMs, in all branches nationwide were suspended.

Most of them discovered the problem upon making transactions through ATM machines.

A client, who requested anonymity, said she first went to an ATM of a different bank but her card cannot be recognized.

She then tried to withdraw from the ATM outside the BPI-Bacolod Main Branch, but she was advised by the security guards that all machines are currently offline.

“I am supposed to get my mother’s allotment from my brother working as seafarer abroad,” the client said.

She decided to transact over-the-counter, however, the bank cannot cater to her since their account was opened in a Manila branch.

This was also the predicament of 38-year-old Reylen Dehab, who opened her BPI account directly through Pagibig when she applied for loans last year.

Dehab said aside from ATM withdrawal, she was also advised that she cannot make over-the-counter transactions at any of the BPI branches since her account was facilitated by Pagibig.

Some clients, especially out-of-town residents, also expressed dismay over the inconvenience brought by the glitch as their accounts were also opened in branches outside Bacolod City – some in Iloilo and Manila.

In Bacolod alone, 13 branches of BPI are catering to thousands of clients.

The BPI, in an advisory, said all its electronic channels were temporarily closed to speed up resolution of an internal system error related to transaction mispostings.

Some clients, through social media, said there have been deductions in their account balances although they did not make withdrawal transactions.

The bank, for its part, said it has identified system glitch that caused some transactions occurring between April 27 and May 2 to be double posted as of June 6.

It added that while its resolution efforts are progressing, all branches are open and will continue to serve the clients.

“Please note that our resolution efforts do not require any client to submit personal data to any party particularly via link embedded in emails or third party site,” the BPI said, adding that “we wish to assure all clients that the integrity of their transactions and account balances will be maintained.”

As this developed, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it will conduct an investigation to determine how a number of BPI cardholders lost money in their accounts overnight.

BSP Director Pia Roman-Tayag, in a report said, the Central Bank also investigate and look into the matter and see what happened, what were the operational lapses that led to the incident.

“Through this, we can also come up with our own conclusion and see what action we need to take and also make sure measures are in place to prevent this from happening again,” Roman-Tayag said.

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said BPI assured them that “this is not a hack” and problem will be fixed immediately.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the BPI announced that they have rectified the mispostings related to the internal systems problem. Access to ATMs have also been restored, it added.
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