Bank of Montreal (BMO) account holders are probably having a tough morning. I have come across several people in my office who have attempted to use their debit card, but have their debit card rejected.
The message read on the payment machine is: “Cannot Access System Problems”.
I contacted BMO and inquired about this problem people have been facing, and I was told that approximately 30 – 40 minutes ago the issue occurred, which was a System Wide Failure in both branches and debit cards. Ultimately, the error was with the network.
In an age of where plastic is king, and cash comes in second, this is a HUGE problem!
What is BMO doing about it?
My initial source for this news explained that BMO was allowing clients to withdraw money, however it was a limited amount.
Also, if they knew you as a client of that branch, the withdrawal amount was higher than if they did not know you. This goes to show that making a relationship with you bank can go a long way, especially in an unforeseen situation like this.
Upon contacting BMO, I was told that banks are handing out money, but as their systems are down too, the amount depends on the bank.
The branch that our source went to was in fact allowing “known” customer to withdraw a maximum of $500, while customer they did not know, could withdraw a maximum of $200.
Now realistically, the amounts are both fine (really who needs to walk around with $500) but the fact that BMO’s systems went down, and just because you are not known at the branch you walk in to, you are faced to suffer a lower withdrawal amount? Not a good idea in my opinion, it is valid, but in the end, they messed up, not the client.
When will this be fixed?
I was told over the phone that BMO expects it to be fixed in an hour (I spoke to BMO around 10:45) So the estimated timeline is soon. I plan on checking this out for myself at 11:50 and will update this article here.
Let us know how you have dealt with this system failure from BMO. We would love to hear your story!