April 10, 2014

ATMA software coding error within a South Portland, Maine ATM was recently responsible for the machine’s wrongful distribution of $37,000 in cash to a man that had put in a request for $140. This is according to an article from a CBS local affiliate, WGME.

The South Portland Police Department responded to a TD Bank branch location after receiving a call from a woman that saw a man spending an unusual amount of time at an ATM she was waiting to use. When police arrived, they found the man stuffing large amounts of cash into a shopping bag. The cash that was wrongfully distributed, has since been returned to the bank and no charges are being pressed against the man. A bank official told WGME that the problem was caused by a “code error,” and no customer accounts were affected by the glitch.

Software glitches impacting financial institutions are not significantly rare, as Lloyds banking customers were unable to withdraw money from ATMs and complete debit card transactions during the holiday season a year ago, due to IT problems.

Michael Allen, director at application performance management company Compuware, said about the issue in a ComputerWeekly article, “We will continue to see problems like this happening unless performance and quality is engineered in IT applications while architecting, developing and testing new systems.”

Applications used by financial institutions should go through embedded software testing, as changes in code or coding errors could damage brand reputation or result in financial loss. 

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