When Digital Money Goes Missing 1

When Digital Money Goes Missing

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Feb 01 2021 10:28 AM

It’s been 72 hours since I made a funds transfer via Instapay from one bank to another and my digital money has yet to surface.

I confess that I have not been to a bank branch in a year, and have embraced digital banking whenever possible. All bills are paid using mobile Apps, my modest salary is credited to my bank account online, and the Internet also helps me make small investments and track my portfolio. There has been no need for me to visit or call the bank until last Friday when my cash went missing.

My fault is that I waited. Thinking there must have been some delay so my funds transfer in the morning will be posted later in the day, I checked again late afternoon. It was still not there, and not there in the evening, and in the next day, and in the day after that.

With the weekend, there was no one to call either in the bank where the money was withdrawn and in the bank where the money should have been sent. And while I have always praised the convenience of digital banking, I now realize I still need a Plan B, and you should have one too.

If you are also moving away from cash and turning to digital payments, here are 5 things to remember:

#1 Screenshot is your friend.

Most digital payments send confirmations via email or text but sometimes that email and SMS goes missing so make sure to take a screenshot. This is your proof of transaction in the event that you’ll need one. My phone’s photos folder is groaning with transaction photos but sadly, the one time I did not take it is the one time I needed it. 

#2 Confirm that money was debited.

So you don’t end up as the boy who cried wolf, make sure to check if the money did leave your account. It’s possible that the funds transfer failed because your account was not debited. In this case, just start over with your transaction.

One time, I was surprised to see a higher balance in my mobile wallet, only to realize that one payment I made was reversed by the App. With my transaction photo, I was able to show to the vendor that I did pay and had no intention of defrauding her.

#3 Follow your money to the destination.

If you are making funds transfer between your accounts, this will be easier. But if you are paying someone else, send them your confirmation so they can track the deposit. Ask them to inform you if the money was credited on the same banking day so you can report the problem to your bank or mobile wallet provider as soon as possible.

#4 It’s called Instapay for a reason.

In the case of my missing money, I used Instapay and my friend wisely pointed out that the service promised debit and credit in real time. Well, the debit did happen fast but the credit did not. With Instapay, the transaction should go through in real time, even after branch banking hours and on weekends. The lesson learned here is that I should not have waited. Instead, I should have raised the alarm when the credit did no go through within the first hour. I could have saved myself 71 hours of grief (and still counting).

#5 Know who you can call.
    
If your digital money goes missing, where and how can you report it? Now is the time to find out how your bank and mobile wallet can help, before you encounter any problems. My planned restful weekend is in shreds because I could not call anyone until the bank reopens on Monday. And in case they will not help, there is always the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) customer helpline. You can email consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph or call +632.8708.7701 local 2584. When you escalate to BSP, they call your bank’s attention immediately and compel them to respond. So when your bank ignores you, remember this email and phone number, just so you won’t be tempted to go for Liam Neeson and launch a massive cash hunt (I have been considering this for 72 hours).

* * *

In case you missed it, there was a birthday party held in Baguio City that brought together so-called society influencers.

I normally do not pay attention to these things but posed and composed photos from the event flooded traditional and social media feeds that I almost spit out my coffee over breakfast.

I thought (and from my Facebook and Instagram community so do many, many others) what nerve when there is a new COVID-19 strain going around, the height of irresponsibility at a time of escalating global pandemic, and such total lack of compassion by displaying the privilege of wealth. Plus to do at such a trying time when many Filipinos are reported to be at poverty levels worse than the world war era. The latest Oxfam report declared Coronavirus has in fact condemned billions around the world to live in poverty for at least a decade.

Well, you can stop them from partying like it’s 2019. First, stop clicking their stories – they must be begging for an audience so badly they will risk their lives and all the people they hired for the party. Two, stop following them (if you are) so they can see their audience shrink and put an end to all these influencer claims. Third, do not buy any products they advertise or sponsors that support them. Nothing comes free in this world. Those advertisers and sponsors track any spike in sales from endorsers and events. When there are none, that well will soon dry up. I heard they have been apologizing and even paid ridiculously small fines – but these people should have known better – and in this case, the apologies came much too late. 

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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.