While most banks, including BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), send notifications for online transactions like fund transfer, bills payment, and the like, it is quite rare for clients to receive alerts or notifications from the bank for ATM transactions.
This is the reason why many victims were completely unaware that their ATM cards had been skimmed and crooks had already withdrawn their hard-earned money. They only learned about the unfortunate incident/s when it was time for them to withdraw money or upon checking their account balance using ATMs or via online banking. But by then, it was often too late…
The proliferation of ATM skimming and other relevant issues these past years has become quite alarming, especially because some of these crooks managed to steal large sums of money from unsuspecting clients.
It is a good thing that BPI has rolled out a new security feature which sends email alerts to clients every time a withdrawal is made on their account. The alerts might also be sent for unsuccessful transactions and reversals.
Now, it seems that the security feature has been rolled out for most, if not all, of the bank’s clients. For example, this writer has personally experienced receiving email notification from the bank mere seconds after a withdrawal was made last February 3, 2016.
I did not request for the bank to send me notifications for ATM transactions yet I received the email right after I got the money from the ATM slot!
Of course, since the email notifications are sent after the transaction was made, the client could not prevent the crook from stealing the money yet the alert ensures that the client is aware of what is happening with his/her account in real time.
The timing of the notifications is quite perfect because the client can immediately notify the bank if an unauthorized transaction was made. If done quickly enough, there might be a huge possibility that the crook could be apprehended immediately.
Future transactions using the same card could then be prevented after the client notifies the bank and disables the card.
The email notification is also quite detailed. Not only does it include the transaction amount and parts of the account details (last 4 digits), these are also included in the short report: transaction date and time, ATM location, and ATM terminal ID.
With these details, it is possible to quickly pinpoint where and when the withdrawals were made. If the crook could not be caught right after making the transaction, he/she could at least be recognized by relevant CCTV footage.
How to Activate ATM Withdrawal Notifications
While the writer was able to receive ATM withdrawal notifications via email without activating the alert, all BPI users have the option to activate the same by logging in to their BPI Express Online Account if they still aren’t receiving alerts. Clients can also set the withdrawal amount threshold notifications to 5k, 10k, 15k, and 20k.
Since not everyone have internet access on their phones at all times, it is possible for clients to also activate SMS notifications to receive alerts for ATM transactions! They only have to enter their mobile number in the allocated slot to activate the alerts.
This feature will certainly be very useful to many of the bank’s clients.
We could only hope that other banks would follow suit – or are there other banks out there already offering this feature? If yes, please inform us so we could update the others. Thanks!