Fat-finger is a term for incorrect user input that results in a major incident. It is an analogy to someone whose fingers are so large that they have trouble typing the correct keys on a keyboard. Although employees may receive the blame for a fat finger incident there are usually deeper causes of such issues such as poor processes, designs and controls that represent latent human errors. The following are illustrative examples of fat-finger incidents.
TradingThe classic fat-finger error is a financial trade into a liquid market with an incorrect price or quantity. In some cases, these two fields are swapped such as selling 10,000 shares for $1 instead of 1 share for $10,000. It is possible for a fat finger trade to cost an organization billions of dollars or perhaps to completely wipe out their capital. As such, systems are typically designed to catch these errors.
DividendsA firm mistakenly executes a dividend of $1000 a share as opposed to $1 a share.
AdministrationA firm mistakenly pays employees a bonus of $1 million each instead of $1000 each.
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