Unionbank has received what I think is an unjust amount of criticism these days, as the latest bank to suffer yet another incident that could have proven costly. For those who haven’t actually heard, an employee of Unionbank attempted to steal 17 million pesos from the bank, but thanks to the bank’s robust security measures, she was caught and arrested, and the money was recovered.
The string of incidents that have hit the banking industry of late are causing what I personally find to be irrational fear, if anything these trials are proving to be the banking sector’s finest hour, and have served not to expose their flaws, but to highlight their strengths.
We have more money going through more branches of more banks than at any time in history. In this day and age paper money is pocket change, and the real money exists online as digits on a screen. Banks are driven by convenience, and larger sums of money than most people can fathom exchange hands over a superhighway of fiber optic cables and microwaves quite literally every second of every day. Real bank robbers in this day and age don’t use guns, ski masks or getaway cars, they use laptops and hotspots. The true miracle of the modern world that we all take for granted is that banks are in fact able to offer an unprecedented customer experience without frequently and sensationally having huge sums of money stolen from right under their noses.
Given this frenetic and very difficult to secure exchange of currency that goes on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week what happened with Unionbank is no less than a soaring feat of electronic security design. The fact that a single specific employee was pinpointed, and the speed and manner in which she was caught actually gives me renewed faith in the banking system and the various redundant security measures they deploy. For a bank, 17 million pesos is no large amount. That the unlawful taking of this insignificant sum was flagged and narrowed down to a single perpetrator is absolutely mind blowing.
Banks are inevitably always targets, but I would never choose my home as a safe option for a large amount of money over a bank. This is because banks have layers of redundant security developed by an often under-rated and unheralded pool of experts who are nothing short of genius. Banks may seem more vulnerable than ever but in fact it seems the opposite is true. This is something which the would-be Union Bank thief found out the hard way.