Imagine if someone had taken a hold of your banking information, your entire online checking account, and the only excuse you received was a message that read: “The site is down for scheduled maintenance please try again later.” Really? So you want to tell me when I can access my financial records, or – gasp! – pay my bills on time?
This is what 16.5 million people were met with yesterday on the Chase online banking site, myself included. I get up at 4:30 AM EST to write. I usually balance my checkbook before I get started, so I was surprised to find out that part of my routine would be nixed yesterday. I went to bed at 9:30 PM EST so I could get my 7 hours of sleep, and the site was still ‘down for scheduled maintenance.’ Talk about a huge inconvenience.
As banking becomes more virtual, financial institutions (and the rest of the credit bandwagon jumpers) will need to pay attention to situations like this. Note to self: AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
With banks like Chase beginning to offer specialized tools such as iPhone apps that enable remote check deposits, the realization that prolonged downtime can downright ruin an individual’s ability to conduct business becomes that much more real. Nevermind realization, it can downright piss your customers off, Chase. What about those that live in almost a completely virtual world of computers and PDA’s?
According to the Associated Press, “The bank will work with any customers who had online bill payment deadlines they couldn’t meet because of the outage, said Chase spokesperson Thomas Kelly. He also urged Chase customers to use the telephone banking service, which was operating normally, as were its 15,500 ATMs.” That statement didn’t make me feel better then, and even though Chase online is working (like it should) this morning, it DOES NOT make me feel any better this morning.
Relatively speaking, the general population has only recently overcame their concerns with the security of online banking. Couple that with the rise of online and mobile commerce, online security is becoming vitally more important. The cherry on top is the immediacy and transparency consumers demand for our banking establishments. So word to the wise: now is not a good time for Chase, or any other financial institution for that matter, to test the faith of its customers.
It’s the morning after and we still don’t have an answer as to what or why was the ‘glitch.’ Another ball dropped, Chase, you can hide behind the curtain all you want, the longer you do, the longer Twitter theories gain momentum.
Psst.. The old adage ‘Any press is good press‘ does not hold true for financial institutions. Just in case you were wondering.
Makovsky PR is a New York PR agency who has worked with JP Morgan Chase.