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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Online banking certainly has a place in a wired world. It most definitely has a place in my life. I rarely bank at a "branch" unless it is unavoidable. Some people prefer to automate their lives and their banking by setting up automatic debits for their expenses. At the risk of forgetting an occasional payment, I never do auto-debits (for substantial expenditures anyway), nor do I plan to. Why? Read this horror story.

My horror story in the virtual world of finance occurred when a double technology error nearly bankrupted me in a week. My desktop personal-finance software program and my online bill-payment service had a slight misunderstanding due to software bugs at each end. As a result, instead of paying one mortgage payment in advance before I headed overseas on a business trip, my online bill-payment service presented my bank with an electronic voucher for a mortgage payment – once every business day.

If it wasn't for a human being at my local bank branch, who figured out something was very wrong and gave me a call, I would have been financially dead and buried and completely oblivious while overseas. The toughest part of the whole fiasco was getting the two software companies to understand it was their mistake, not my incompetence. No one on the Help Desk would believe that I was being dunned thousands of dollars a day.

I think I am far more comfortable with the risk of an oversight than I am with the risk of such a catastrophic glitch. Sometimes, the Luddite in me wins out, although not completely.


.: posted by Dave 2:52 PM

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