What to Do When Your Online Bank Transaction Fails (Personal Experiences Inside)

What to Do When Your Online Bank Transaction Fails (Personal Experiences Inside)

ON FRIDAY NIGHT, I came across social media rants about failed GCash cash-ins by bank (be forewarned then), and so I got encouraged to write this post and share my experiences in resolving a few failed online bank transactions. Interestingly, banks do notify us when an amount is debited for an initiated transaction, but not whether the actual transfer is successful.

When I say FAILED, I mean — after you initiate an online transaction such as a bill payment or a fund transfer, receive a debit notif, and wait for even hours or days past the crediting timeline, your money gets apparently ‘hijacked’ somewhere between the bank and the destination account.

I don’t need to ask any more about it because I’m sure that you are in the same stressful situation right now, and you might be desperately seeking some help (like when there was a comment section below, and you would give your transaction details without a second thought). Tip in advance – get it through the proper channel!

OF COURSE, I can’t give you such a direct help as I just share what I have experienced, but I do hope you find here at least something helpful to guide you through the solution. Read on then!

[1] Give it some time. It may still be on its way (through those invisible lines). However instant the online transaction is as promised, still there are drawbacks and delays to experience given the number of parties involved — you (source), your bank and other service providers (intermediaries), and the recipient (destination). Although you’re the front-line person responsible for the success of the process, the whole transaction doesn’t just depend on you. You’re just part of it, and the rest are beyond your control.

Your current bank transfer or bill payment may not be as seamless as the previous ones because of the different context, or perhaps it’s a whole new transaction after all. Let’s wait for another hour or another day!

Personal Experience: Whenever I pay household utility bills such as for the Globe At Home broadband and Meralco electricity, payments usually get reflected on my smartphone apps three days after, sometimes even later. COL Financial (Stock Investment) account funding by bank, in the same way, usually takes a few hours, three or even more. Hence, I don’t expect ‘real time’ for most online transactions.

[2] Don’t panic but start thinking about what possibly went wrong. You should have known quite well the transaction timelines per prior experiences, and the feedback (other than the transaction confirmation) from the merchant or fund recipient still negative after hours or days should serve you a cue to review your transaction details. I do hope you don’t scratch your head upon discovering mistyped characters and other important fields accidentally left blank.

Personal Experience: When I first had the payment of my biannual insurance premium by bank, I experienced one of the worst headaches I ever had with these online facilities. The premium was almost due, and my payment still didn’t reach the insurance company weeks after. The culprit — I had the policy number encoded in both fields for the account and the reference numbers (I should have left the latter blank) — and soon I learned that the bank couldn’t process it. It’s my bad.

[3] Get into forums, blogs, and comment threads. Read reviews and stories. It’s what I usually do and what you should also do whenever you already feel suspicious and worried about your recent bank transaction, or even any other transactions that involve MONEY. Social media and the web have served as avenues where people share testimonies, stories, and rants — including those about failed bank transactions.

Your recent one may not be an isolated case as what you think. It might have happened to someone else too, but you should not overthink just like the person on the comment thread did. Stay calm and get into the proper processing of the dispute (just to repeat, but in different words).

Personal Experience: With GCash, I can pay my Globe At Home broadband bills without any hassle as they are sister companies. Since months ago however, I could no longer pay the same bill with Metrobank and other payment channels due to account number issues — registered Globe merchant only accepts eight or ten-digit account numbers, and mine is but nine ( I dunno why). As I checked the web, I learned that the bills payment for such has already migrated from Globe itself to Innove Communications. Checking the web but saved me from another headache.

[4] Contact your bank’s customer service. Go check the bank’s official website for their contact details. You can right away reach the bank’s customer support team by phone or chat (if ever available) and verify your failed transaction, but before you do so, make sure you prepare all the details. It’s better to have them written on a piece of paper because you might be asked to do pressing of buttons (press one, press two, etc.) while on a call.

Personal Experience: I make a phone call only when it’s about an urgent matter. In most cases, I rather send an email as I hate the long wait time and the usual static noise on either end.  I also miss important details on my first call, and making a follow-up causes me additional stress.

[5] Or send an email. If you have a lengthy transaction story to detail out, better drop the bank’s customer service an email. While you expect a clear and favorable response wrapped in a highly professional approach, start it then on your end — introduce yourself (with warm greetings), explain clearly what happened or what possibly went wrong, provide details, and express your demand for an immediate action. By the way, I prefer to call it VERIFICATION over complaint.

What’s good about exchanging emails is that you can have the concrete documentation of all communications, plus you can forward these proofs of inconvenience to other parties awaiting your fund transfers or payments (but be careful with data privacy).

Personal Experience: When I forwarded the bank’s reply about the failed bank transaction to the insurance company, the latter expressed understanding of the situation and even extended the payment grace period.

In the past, I had emails to various customer service departments — making a follow-up on delayed parcel shipment (Lazada), demanding a refund for an undelivered item (eBay), tracking my SSS UMID, and even verifying Meralco bills payment. I find sending emails tremendously helpful.

[6] Follow instructions. Cooperate. Apart from being professional in your approach, you must also be very cooperative. Your concerns will not be seriously addressed if you don’t express yourself in the same serious tone. Follow instructions as given, make follow-ups but not to the point that you already cause annoyance, and cooperate.

Personal Experience: After a week-long exchange of email messages, the payment transaction finally got reverted, and the money was refunded to my bank account. Yes, the experience caused me a little trauma, but it also left me a big lesson about being careful with transaction details.

[7] Visit your service branch. Talk to them personally. I do hope it’d be your final move (and not any other legal procedures). Social media can be an instant outlet for expressing dismay and making others informed (as I illustrated earlier), but you can’t have the closure of the issue without directing it to the concerned party.

Visiting the bank may at times be a real hassle, but if that is what it takes for your failed transaction issue to get finally resolved, then better do it right away instead of prolonging the stress.