Online ATM when you need one!

September 16, 2009

I did mentioned (about) that i was once monitoring ATM network for BPI in the start of my career. It was BPI who introduced ATM as a service – 24 hrs service, we’ll at least that was advertised. But shouldn’t be BPI get penalized for wrong service offering information? It’s a 24hr shift alright and i got my share of keeping an eye of 200+ machines in the graveyard shift. There’s a daily routine where the network of ATM needs to be rebooted – if i’m not mistaken it starts at about 2 am and supposedly ends at about 4 am. That’s where the graveyard shift action is, the phone rings endlessly where either angry or frustrated cardholders call-in to demand the service!

I didn’t realized that i will also be as dependent as the customers i once served. The whole gang was to fly to eastern samar for a short getaway, traveling regularly i always thought that the airport tax have the same rate whichever terminal you’re in and so i needed quick cash. It’s about 4am and what you may know as the BOD for windows displayed in all 3 machines i tried – LINE TO SWITCH DOWN! I didn’t dawn to me at the first 2 machine until i remembered about this reboot about 15yrs back! Thinking it will be over in matter of minutes, since we’re fast forward now to 2009, i still hoped the last machine before Terminal 2 will be online — but it was not.


So after 15yrs (at least), the ATM technology has not evolved much except of course with the advert display while it is idle or the card reader security for piggyback readers. The service itself did not improved and is not living expectations. ATM are supposed to be robust, therefore only ‘heal’ when they get a chance i.e. service maintenance or when it is really ‘down’. Suppliers can design software updates in the fly like we have for current consumer computer applications. 24hr, no!

If you encounter this message: LINE TO SWITCH DOWN, in the morning (3a-5a) – wait until 6a or when the branch opens, tendency is that other ATM do not recover from this reboot!

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