Where has all the banking gone? Digital Literally Disrupted


Is it just the 20 odd people in my circle who have been talking about a possible malware lurking in the local banking networks? It has been almost two months that there’s been one hiccup or another in almost every second transaction that’s been made. Within our own office sphere, we’ve had a series of troubles with online and other transactions made through not one, but four different platforms. If you look online, there are no official statements or any news reported. No one has been questioning the authorities or financial institutions, and perhaps they are not in a position to disclose, but this lack of direct communication with the customers or the victims of the possible attack only causes more chaos.

One of the leading banks that prides itself on its design thinking and innovative approach is sending us four times the bill due for a credit card and multiple letters to the name addressee on overdue payments, whereas the fault is within their own internal systems, as corrected later by their own personnel.

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On the other hand, one of Pakistan’s leading bank, celebrating the publicity of its APIs, has had several fraudulent transactions, resulting in automatic blocking of multiple debit cards. Within our own organization, we have those who are sitting locked out of their accounts; online and/or with their debit/cards blocked, and those who have reported cases of their card being misused.

Similarly, two of the leading telecommunication company backed banks have also recently given us the same trouble. One of these made a simple transaction ID error, where our amount was stuck due to an incorrect ID generated by the system. Same with another telecom backed mobile account just the week after.

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Tell you what, having your debit card stalled while you’re on a holiday because of the ongoing political frenzy or because of a public holiday, can be a real pain. For a typical millennial, who completely banks on their ‘bank’ and online systems, this only causes much inconvenience on a regular day.

Whether or not our guess on a malware attack that has affected hundreds, if not thousands of bank accounts is correct, the fact that all of these instances have occurred back to back within a span of just two months is rather too much of a coincidence.