I HAVE been a customer of a Punjab-based bank since 2016. The state of affairs of the bank’s day-to-day functioning has really become pathetic lately. On March 30, I withdrew an amount of Rs40,000 from a local bank. The amount was debited from my account, but not credited through the ATM.

I called the bank’s helpline (111-267-200), but the staff simply refused to acknowledge me as a customer and told me that they had no data pertaining to my account. I waited for a few days and then contacted the bank through the helpline more than once. I got the same answer again and again. Later, I visited the branch concerned and asked the staff there about my account details. The officials were of the view that there was nothing wrong with my account.

Digging further into the matter, it came to light that the bank had tried to merge some branchless banking customers into their system, which led to a potential data breach in the system, and many of the customers lost their profile in the online database. Telephone numbers and identity cards of many customers got swapped in the system.

Now again, I recently tried to apply for reversal of my annual credit card charges, but got the same answer. The system could not identify me as a customer.

My bank data, which is sensitive and confidential information, is clearly at risk. Will somebody look into this matter?

Dr Ali Nasim Chattha
Lahore

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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