With the Commonwealth Bank’s online systems off the air, lots of people have been hit with the inconvenience of not having 365/24/7 access to their funds. As someone who remembers the days when banks were only open from 9:30AM to 4:00PM and never on weekends, I see this a minor hassle although i get why it can be a bigger pain in the butt for others. Fortunately, just because your bank is offline, you don’t have to be compelled curt off from being able to buy your lunch or pay a few bills.
Always have a backup plan
Online banking services are not infallible. Over the course of a year, most of the major online banking systems go offline, either for scheduled maintenance or when some unexpected issue occurs.
But it’s rare for every bank to fail at the same time.
Having a credit card, with a low limit, is a handy thing to stash in a drawer or at the back of your wallet or purse just in case you main bank is offline.
I have a card with the smallest limit available sitting around for this reason – and in case of an emergency when my personal cashflow isn’t at its best. And, remember, if you need short term cash, you can do a cash advance against the credit card – just watch out as withdrawing cash from a credit card usually incurs interest straight away. But it can get you out of a jam.
Use an alternative source of payment
For online transactions, you can use PayPal or other payment services.
If you’re at the local coffee or lunch spit and the folks at the counter know you, you could even get away with an old-fashioned IOU.
Jump on the phone
Grab the phone book, or hit Google, and call people. If you need to urgently pay a bill, calling them and explaining that your payment will be late because of a banking issue will usually buy you a few days of grace until things get sorted out.
Visit a bank branch
Pretend it’s the 1990s again and go for a walk to your local branch. Even if online banking services are down, you might find your smartphone app’s branch finder still works. And if that’s off as well, there’s always Google or Apple Maps to help find your local branch so you can withdraw actual cash.
Take a break
Of course, instead of getting all Scrooge McDuck and checking in on your cash, you could just take a break and let things slide for a few hours.
Skip on using your break time from work to do banking and go for a walk, eat your lunch at a park, read a book, listen to some music and relax. Your money will still be there when systems are restored.