Saturday, December 22, 2007

ATM crash!

There is no doubt that automated teller machines (ATM) have convenient for many Pinoys. Many now receive their salaries through their ATM accounts in the banks.

However during times of heavy withdrawals especially at Christmastime and during other holidays the ATM system is overtaxed and that the network crashes. This causes probably millions in loses for the banks and merchants.

This should give banks pause for thought. Banks probably have done studies on Pinoy use of ATMs behaviour thus machines are situated in malls and near offices. Pinoys tend to withdraw their whole pay at a time.

Thus the volume of transactions that costs much. We are still really a cash based economy and people tend to use ATMs as a sort of electronic bank book.

Obviously the system can't handle the large withdrawals that cause long queues at the machines. Criminals also have taken advantage of this and they "prey"on the unwary. Businesses and merchants also lose. If a customer can't get his/her holiday pay then the merchant can forget to have a sale at the register. I have seen this at several supermarkets where people just buy a few things since they weren't able to get cash from the ATM!

Banks may consider offering debit cards for employees. Their salaries can be credited to their debit cards. At least in major cities, many merchants have electronic payment systems. People can use the debit card as if they have cash. In this way people will not use ATM machines to withdraw cash to make purchases.

In many countries the debit card has replaced cash and check transactions. And if a person needs cash for an emergency, the debit card can be used to withdraw cash.

Of course banks will never lose money. Debit cards and ATM cards have a service fee!

No comments: