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There's Something About Silos

Sometimes I like to post stories about my personal experiences with banking technology. I think what happened to me the other day with my debit card fits the bill.

Sometimes I like to post stories about my personal experiences with banking technology. I think what happened to me the other day with my debit card fits the bill.My card stopped working. I tried it at one merchant and thought it was their POS machine (that's "point of sale", not the other thing...). But when I went to a different store, it still didn't work. I knew the card was supposed to expire in June, but that's at the end of the month and I had a couple more weeks.

So when I got home, I called I my "extremely large" bank and explained the situation. I was asked for my debit card number and I gave it. There was a long pause and then several requests to repeat the last eight digits. Finally, the rep said it wasn't showing up in the database. I was getting nervous and then gave her my checking account number. Fortunately, that was in the system. After verifying some personal information, she concluded that the card was deactivated because they mailed me my new one.

Well, that was news to me, since I never received it! She checked my address. It turns out my old address was in the system. We moved to a different state earlier this year and the first thing we did was change our address with our bank. We thought everything was fine since our statements were coming to our new address and my husband's new debit card came to our new address. But for some reason, they never changed the address under my name in the debit card system. The "silo monster" strikes again?

I guess as a bank tech journalist, I should have been a bit more aware. But I mean, really; how were we as customers to know that the databases of our "extremely large" bank weren't completely synchronized? I kind of thought we were beyond this kind of situation at this point in time, given the size of the bank. Looks like there's still some more work to be done though.

I will say the rep was very nice and apologetic. What else could she do?

This incident has really driven home to me just how dependent I am on my debit card now. Before I was married, I was a "cash person." Now, taking out my debit card when I'm at the supermarket or some other store is just as natural to me as using cash was. In fact, I'm finding I prefer to hoard the cash I have. Oh, I keep bills in my wallet-I just am very reluctant to use them!

Anyway, so now I'm stuck without a debit card for the next "five to seven business days." Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I should call them back and demand the card be given expedited shipping since it was the bank's fault!

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