Bank of America Slammed After Money Suddenly Disappears From Accounts
The issue was related to Zelle transactions that went missing.
We generally trust our bank or financial institution to keep our hard-earned money safe. With technology, banking feels even simpler and more secure, as you can monitor your balances, deposit checks, and transfer funds right from your phone or computer. But if you've ever worried about the security of your money when you're using online banking or transfer services, you might not want to hear about the recent experiences of certain Bank of America customers, who woke up to a particularly unpleasant surprise on Wednesday—missing money. Read on to find out why funds disappeared, and how Bank of America and the transfer service Zelle responded.
Bank of America customers said Zelle payments went missing.
On the morning of Jan. 18, Bank of America customers logged into their accounts and were shocked to find that their Zelle payments weren't there or had disappeared entirely. As a result, some customers were left with minimal funds and others were overdrawn, the New York Daily News reported.
Customers were unable to get through to Bank of America customer service, with many then heading to Twitter to lodge their complaints. "So, I woke up to find hella Zelle deposits missing from my Bank of America account," a Jan. 18 tweet from @GNCordova reads. "When I called customer service they said 'due to extenuating circumstances we cannot take your call' and the phone hung up."
Some customers were missing thousands of dollars—and some weren't even aware until their debit cards were declined, including one person who said they couldn't even purchase milk. "Bank of America im disappointed," user @therealketuraah wrote. "Where is my money. Cause I'm missing all my Zelle payments."
The issue was resolved, but neither company is taking full responsibility.
Spikes in outage reports for both Bank of America and Zelle were reported yesterday morning on the website downdetector.com, per Time. But while the situation was still being sorted out, Zelle pointed the finger at Bank of America, telling the New York Daily News that Zelle transactions outside of Bank of America weren't affected.
On Twitter, Zelle Support stated they were aware of the issue, noting that both the Zelle app and network were up and running. The support account recommended that customers reach out to Bank of America's customer support team instead. Bank of America, however, blamed a "technical glitch" on Zelle's end, ABC News reported.
Yesterday afternoon, Bank of America told Time that the issue was resolved, and they confirmed that money would be returned. Customers received a notice when logging into online banking, which said that Zelle payments made between Jan. 14 and Jan 17 were delayed as opposed to missing, per CBS-affiliate WTSP.
"Transfers will be completed and will appear in your account activity and balances as soon as possible," the notice reads. "We apologize for any inconvenience."
Zelle is holding firm.
In the aftermath, Zelle is sticking to its story, stating that the company wasn't at fault.
"We understand that a Zelle Network financial institution may have experienced issues processing some of their customers' Zelle transactions, which has now been resolved," a spokesperson told Best Life on Jan. 19. "This issue was not the result of any issues with the Zelle Network."
Best Life reached out to Bank of America, but the company had no immediate statement on the issue.
Both Zelle and Bank of America earned heavy criticism.
The technical issue may be fixed, but there are still unresolved questions. In addition to the outcry on social media, Senator Elizabeth Warren—a longtime critic of these money transfers—called out both parties on Twitter.
"Bank of America and Zelle are apparently failing customers again, with money somehow disappearing from accounts," she tweeted on Jan. 18, before Bank of America announced the glitch was addressed. "This should be fixed immediately and customers should be compensated. I've called out serious fraud issues on Zelle, and this is their latest failure."
Zelle quickly transfers money directly from one bank account to another, eliminating fees and wait times associated with credit card transitions. But the company has faced its fair share of criticism from government officials due to fraud concerns and its lack of payment protections, Time reported. If something goes awry, Zelle doesn't have anything in place to protect customers' transactions.