Are online payments really online?

I discovered this morning that my mobile was disconnected due to my bill exceeding the credit limit. Since I had some things to be done in the office and had no time to go out to make a payment, I chose to pay online through www.dialog.lk web site.

So I made a payment that was adequatete and was waiting for my phone to be reconnected. Since it was taking way too long, I decided to check up with Dialog’s online customer support. (I had no way of calling the hotline as well).

To my horror they told me that they cannot see the payment I have made. It had been about two hours by then and I had recieved a payment confirmation from the dialog website. But unfortunately I had not written down the transaction id nor had I taken a printout.

But since getting my connection up was really critical for me, I made another payment online. Same story, they could not see it on their side. This time I had the transaction id, but still they could not trace it! And guess what, they told me it’ll take 24 hours for the line to get connected!!! 24 Hours??? C’mon, online payments are meant to be instantaneous.

But I guess in our part of the world, online means 24 hours! Man, was I disappointed to hear this from a company touting to be on the cutting edge of technology. But yet, their systems seem to be operating offline!

A word has to be said about the Sampath Bank Payment Gateway that they are using. It is too damn slow! And once after I paid the confirm button to make the payment, there was a time out on the server. So I was lost and had no idea whether my payment had gone through or not. But in any case I went back and made the payment again. Sampath Banks online banking solution is another story. It shows me credit card transactions as of last evening and even in that list, some transactions that I had made days ago are missing. At some point they will suddenly appear on it! You cannot really rely on it for an accuratete picture either!

So now I don’t know whether I have ended up making three payments instead of one. I guess these companies and banks that claim they are on the cutting edge and connected and online, need to look at their systems and their integrations to see whether they are as good as they claim.




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