Customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have encountered widespread difficulties with bank cards, mobile and online banking for over 24 hours. The issues are due to a data center failure, according to a statement from the bank.
Customers were reportedly locked out of online and mobile banking accounts starting in the early morning on Monday, and were also unable to make in-store purchases using Visa cards, even those issued by other banks, at CommBank credit card terminals.
Pete Steel, Executive GM in charge of digital retail banking services at the Australian, confirmed that the cause of the difficulties experienced by CommBank customers was data center downtime.
The company has two data centers that support the mobile app and NetBank. An issue in one has caused high traffic and demand on the other, leading to delays and failures in customer logins and purchase processing.
Steel encouraged customers to wait 5-10 minutes between login attempts, and said that his team was working as hard as possible to get the issues fixed.
The company offered to make bill payments and transfer funds by phone, and suggested that customers use alternate forms of payment (cash, or non-Visa cards) until the issue is resolved.
However, as of 7:30 pm local time, the an update on the company website noted that while they have made improvements, the issue is not yet resolved.
Commonwealth Bank customers experienced similar issues in April, when system issues left customers unable to access online services for 24 hours. These issues affect the bank’s digital customers, who reportedly make 6.3 million daily logons to the CommBank and NetBank platforms. The company counts 56% of total transactions and 26% of retail sales as digital.
Angry customers took to social media to vent their frustration with the technical issues, with some noting that the lack of access left them without necessities such as food, leading to a “day of starvation”, while others noted that it would be “much more helpful to get an actual ETA of when this will be fixed, instead of these useless ‘updates’.”