Friday, April 01, 2011

Debit Cards Freeze And Fail Today

American Banker Has Its Say On The Situation

I rely on computers every day. And some of those computers are tied to my bank.

Today, on April Fools Day, I thought that the lady was joking when she said that my card was declined.

She wasn't.

I was lucky. Before the sheet hit the fan blades, I was able to run my purchases through the checkout at Wal Mart. I used my debit card and then went back to where I am staying.

After I brought my bags into my room, I walked across the parking lot to pay my rent.

The landlady was already making out my receipt.

I smiled and made small-talk with her as she swiped my card through the machine. I stopped smiling when she turned around and said, "Ruthie, your card has been declined."

"Say what?!" I asked, as my face reflected my growing confusion.

"It says that your card is declined."

"Run it through again, please. Maybe I put in the wrong pin number." I said, beginning to get concerned.

She repeated the process but it still came back as "declined."

After I made a series of phone calls, I found out that my bank had a "glitch" in its system. That flaw was declining debit cards all over the place. Suddenly, people were unable to complete transactions or withdraw cash from ATM machines around the Country, today.

I hung-up the phone at the end of the fourth call and looked at the piece of plastic in my hand.

"Son of a gun", I thought and then just shook my head.

I am going to be able to access what I need by way of the local branch today.

But today's problem made me realize that my tie to a huge, monolithic financial institution is tenuous, at best.

When the system goes down, all bets are off.

I can just imagine what people went through (or may still be going through) at a number of places where they pay with a card. Or how alarmed they became when they went to put gas in their vehicle or tried to withdraw cash from an ATM machine.

As human beings, we can all relate to each other...but if the computers have an off- the hell do we get past the machines and get what we need?

This has been an eye-opening experience for me...and for quite a few other people, I'm sure.

The situation has given us all something more to think about.

It's one thing to rage AGAINST the machine but it's quite another to respond when the machine rages against US.

The article that I included with this post indicates that this sort of thing is happening with a greater frequency now. That really bothers me.

And, in an odd sort of way, this problem almost reminds me of the run on the banks back in the Depression Era.

Is This Just History...Or Prophecy?

As of 4PM MT today, customers at two different banks in Bozeman, are unable to use their debit cards.

I, for one, think it's time for the Powers-That-Be to take down the curtain and tell us all what is REALLY going on with the National banking system.

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