Have you ever experienced going to the ATM to withdraw money but even though no money came out, the transaction was treated as successful and your last withdrawal attempt was reflected in your statement balance?
In this age of cybercrime, hacking, and identity theft, such incidents can easily trigger panic. But if this happened to you, you’re not alone. And the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is aware of this, offering you some ideas on what to do. So when you encounter this experience, do the following steps:
Record the details of the incident.
Include the time and date of transaction, name of the bank, and ATM branch that experienced the problem. You may also describe the situation (long line of ATM users, errors entering a PIN, and other pieces of evidence that may help in the investigation.).
Keep the transaction receipt.
It makes more sense if you take a photo or photocopy of the receipt as there are ATM transaction receipts whose printouts fade easily. If the machine does not issue a receipt, take a photograph of the screen which may be helpful in presenting your case as you escalate the incident.
Notify the bank immediately.
There are likely phone numbers printed on the ATM panel or screen in case you encounter such problems. For example, BPI has 89-100 you can dial when in Metro Manila. If the ATM is located near a branch, notify the staff about the problem and provide the information you kept in step 1.
File a complaint.
If money was not restored to the account, you may file a complaint addressed to the bank. Provide a copy of the transaction receipt. By this time the branch manager or someone with the jurisdiction of this concern should manage to reach out to you and explain clearly the steps to recover your lost money.
Escalate to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
If the issue is not addressed within a reasonable timeframe by the bank authorities, you may escalate the issue to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Have your documents such as details of the incident and transaction receipt ready.
There are several reasons why some ATMs fail to release money even if your account already registered a withdrawal. Machine malfunction and theft or hack are common causes, but as long as you keep your receipt or incident photo as evidence, the bank should be able to resolve it and hand you out the cash or nullify your transaction.
As these things can happen more likely during a busy season such as Christmas or payday where long lines on ATMs are a common observation, doing your transaction outside these times could help you avoid these things from happening.