Friday, May 13, 2005

Happy 13 Friday

The real reason I wanted a blog was so that I could rant (as evidenced in the first post where I mention it twice). What do I have to rant about, you ask? Work. So, who doesn't have problems at work? I bet everyone has some grievance. I'm here for a safer outlet than complaining to a coworker (because we all know that's never a good thing).

Before I get started on the latest incident that pushed me into finding a place to write stuff down, how about a little background to start? Names have been changed (if they're used at all) to protect the innocent and allow us to point and laugh at the guilty.

I work for a Fortune 500 Online Banking Company (We'll call it OBC). OBC, and other companies like it, is a third party processor of online bill-pay for client banks and credit unions across the nation (we'll call them FI for Financial Institution, if it comes up). What this means to you is that if you use your bank's online banking service to pay your bills, the majority of banks use a third party like OBC to process your payments. We verify your information, print out the checks, and mail them to your payee (here, I'm going to call them merchants, even if you pay your mom). Most FI's don't identify their bill pay processor, so even if you are a customer of one of OBC's clients, you probably don't know it.

Now, about what I do. I have worked for OBC for very close to 2 years in the Merchant Services Department. fyi, my father has been with the company for 13 years, in the System Operations Department. I do keep in mind that all of my actions reflect on him one way or another. My department, now called MS, is responsible for making sure the address and account number you provide is the correct one to send your payment. For example, we can't make a Visa payment if you give us 4 digits of your account number (the reason for that is because the payments we send do not have your payment coupon, which has your whole account number printed on it). On the same note, because we don't have your payment coupon, most merchants have a different address to send unaccompanied checks. I, specifically, work closely with our Payment Inquiry Department (what happens to your payments if they get sent back due to an error) to resolve payment errors. Auditors don't like the people who control when the money is sent to also control where it goes, so PI does the research, I do the updating. I love this aspect of my job. I feel I've made leaps and bounds with the cooperation between the two departments.

Next time, I'll tell you about the problems!