GCash corrects all balances following downtime

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
GCash corrects all balances following downtime
Photo shows of log in to Gcash account
Business World, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — E-wallet giant GCash has assured its more than 81 million users that the app remains safe to use after customers suffered unauthorized deductions in their personal accounts.

In a statement, GCash said it has corrected the fund balance of users affected by what appeared to be a concerted attempt by still unknown individuals to take money from its customer base.

GCash yesterday suffered a temporary downtime that limited user access to the app, preventing customers from tapping funds in the e-wallet.

Several GCash users found out that their accounts made unauthorized transfers worth tens of thousands of pesos. GCash investigated the trend and claimed that there was no hacking involved, although it failed to disclose why some customers lost their funds.

By three in the afternoon, GCash finished adjusting the fund balance of its users affected by the incident. It also stood by its findings denying any form of hacking, saying the app remains to be a secure platform for cash transactions.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking into the allegedly unauthorised transfers from accounts of several GCash users to two banks.

BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan said the regulator is in close coordination with GXchange Inc., the operator of GCash and an electronic money issuer registered with the central bank.

GCash advised users to restart their phones to avoid any complications and reminded them to keep their passwords to themselves.

“We are reminding everyone to never share their MPIN (mobile personal identification number) and OTP (one-time pin) to anyone,” GCash said.

GCash requires users to key in their MPIN to open their account in the app and to type in an OTP to complete a financial transaction as part of precautionary measures to protect funds.

On social media, Filipino actor Chad Kinis posted screenshots detailing how his GCash account carried out multiple transfers without his approval. Based on records, the account moved money to an EastWest Bank account ending in 5239 thrice last Monday.

The transfers involved amounts ranging from P1,500 to as much as P47,000.

Social media users shared that they experienced the same glitch, with the same bank and same account receiving the money.

EastWest said it immediately acted on the reports and initiated its own internal investigation.

“Rest assured that we are cooperating with authorities and other institutions involved in the said report. We are working towards the immediate resolution of this matter,” the Gotianun-led bank said in a statement.

GCash is the finance app to beat in the Philippines with at least 81 million users and six million merchants using it as of March.

As an e-wallet, GCash can be used to do a number of financial activities, including bank transfer, cash remittance, fund management and even loan acquisition. – Lawrence Agcaoili

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