Computer glitch causes teller machine problems

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Union National Bank recently took a technological trip into the future that left a few of its customers behind.

But officials at the Westminster-based bank say problems over the past week, which temporarily left about 10 percent of Union National's customers without automated teller machine access, have been rectified.

"If someone went to an ATM or tried to use it at a point of sale, the card wouldn't work," said Harry R. Colson, marketing specialist for Union National. "People weren't sure why and were calling, wondering what was going on."

Mr. Colson said a computer glitch developed when the bank converted its system to a new ATM computer run by Union National. The glitch was corrected this week, he said.

The computer conversion will eventually allow the bank to offer telephone bank lines, direct deposit and direct debit services already used by larger institutions, he said.

Previously, bank officials used the Internet system as a intermediary between ATMs and Union National's computerized bank records, Mr. Colson said.

"That's part of their program to do MOST machines in this area," he said. "They run the systems for smaller banks."

Union National, which is still locally owned and operated, is also looking into adding home banking services where customers could transfer money and pay bills with a personal computer, Mr. Colson said.

"We're gearing up for the banking of the future, as we're calling it," he said. "People are becoming too busy to do their banking in the branches, so we're looking at alternate ways to bring banking to them."

Bank customers should soon receive a letter explaining the problem and apologizing for any inconvenience it may have caused, Mr. Colson said. But if customers should experience any more problems, they should call Union National's customer service representatives, he said.

"It may be that the card is old, worn down and needs to be replaced," Mr. Colson said, adding that customers will need to explain the situation and what ATM they were using. "We will do everything in our powers to correct the situation."

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