December 12, 2017
In the Season of Giving, bugs are less benevolent ...
As we officially kick off the gift-giving season, we take it for granted that our credit/debit cards will work, and that our bank accounts will reflect their actual value without any inaccurate wackiness. However, these most trustworthy institutions, our own money and our spending of it, are prone to software bugs that show how vulnerable our money is and how frustrating it can be when we lose control or access to it. After November 4’s Nationwide Bank outage “due to a technical issue”, we decided to look back at some bank or payment card incidents that either took place in 2017, or were settled then. The moral of this tale I will tell is, “Keep your banking software safe, and don’t betray your customers.” All of the following events, which are more naughty than nice, either took place in 2017, or were settled then.
- During the peak of spring break, a Frost Bank system change declined debit card transactions at points-of-sale and ATMs.
- A glitch in Barclay’s computer system made it impossible for customers to use their debit cards in shops or withdraw cash from machines.
- Lloyds and Halifax online banking was DOWN in a glitch only affects mobile and internet banking.
- A $8.1M settlement was awarded after a 9-day blockage to WalMart prepaid debit MoneyCard
- UniRush and its payment processor MasterCard was ordered to pay $13M after many accounts showed $0 balances during a changeover despite 13 months of planning.
- Chase Bank had problems for several hours where some customers had trouble accessing the website, or had their accounts show zero balances or N/A.
- A digital banking service experienced a weekend glitch blocking some of their customers from viewing transactions or accurate account balances.
- Hume Bank customers waited several days for deposits to land in their accounts as a technical glitch by third-party supplier First Data, which processes payments between financial institutions.
- Woolworth customers had money withdrawn from their accounts when computer glitch re-processed 6-month-old transactions. Woolworths blames payment service Cuscal for the error.
- The Bank of the Philippines Islands says a major system glitch hit customers with unauthorized withdrawals and deposits.