Yesterday, June 7, 2017, unauthorized transactions appeared in the accounts of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) clients. People of course took to social media to voice out their complaints and concerns regarding the discrepancies in their deposit accounts in the said bank. Some netizens said they lost up to five figures in a flash. Others said they not only lost all of their money, but also owe BPI some (negative balance). Meanwhile, some netizens reported money being added to their accounts.

Depositors of the bank were alarmed Wednesday when they discovered strange withdrawals and deposits in their accounts. But who wouldn't, right? I also wanted to check if the same thing happened to my account and my mom's, unfortunately I couldn't log in via mobile app anymore no matter how many times I tried. I guess by the time I got whiff of the news, the bank already deactivated electronic channels which included online banking services. I couldn't go out to check via ATM.

As long lines of puzzled account holders were starting to form in some BPI branches, the bank issued a statement saying that an "internal data processing error" had caused some accounts to be debited or credited twice for a past transaction.

BPI said the error caused some transactions at BPI and BPI Family Savings, between April 27 and May 2, to be double-posted on June 6.  The bank assured that none of its clients would lose money as a result of the technical glitch, that the issues will be resolved on the same day and that the bank would continue to service them.

It assured the public that the bank had identified the cause of the error and would temporarily suspend online and mobile banking channels to help address the issue faster.


The country's central bank meanwhile denied social media rumors that online hackers were behind the incident.

"Hindi po ito na-hack. May mga natatatakot po kasi na ito ay hack daw po -- ito ang umiikot na balita sa social media. Para to make it clear at hindi rin po matakot, nakita agad ng BPI ang they are correcting it immediately po," Pia Roman Tayag, head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) inclusive finance and financial consumer protection, told radio DZMM.

(This was not a hack. Some clients are worried because of speculations circulating on social media. Just to make it clear, BPI immediately saw the error are now correcting it.)

The BPI, Tayag added, has assured the BSP that it will correct the error within the day and that "no customer fund will be lost."


As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, BPI said the glitch has been fixed and access to ATMs was restored.

"We would like to announce that the internal systems error related to transaction mis-postings has been resolved. Access to ATMs has also been restored," the bank said.

"Please accept our gratitude for your patience, and our apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced," it added. 

The bank earlier assured its clients that none of them will lose money because of the error. 
"Should you have questions, please contact us at CBGCustomerCareDepartment@bpi.com.ph," BPI said. 

Although they said that the glitch was fixed, only ATM services has been restored, online and mobile banking on the other hand aren't up yet. I know, because I still couldn't log in to check our accounts last night after the announcement. I was hoping that they'd be back online today, but then BPI issued a statement around 10:30am via Facebook that they were deactivating electronic channels yet again due to some accounts still having incorrect balances.

I've been a client of BPI for years, and depend on their mobile app's money transfer feature to pay for my online purchases and also the household bills. I sure hope they resolve this glitch as soon as possible.


Was finally able to log in to the BPI mobile app last night and check the balances of our accounts, all is good. Glad they fixed it!



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Article published on June 8, 2017

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