Bank customers across the country had credit card, mortgage and loan information wiped on Wednesday as an outage hit the Commonwealth Bank’s mobile app and internet systems.
The widespread digital failure appeared to hit about 8am.
Credit card histories vanished from CBA’s online systems, while home loan balances, travel money card accounts and payments using BPAY were also affected.
The outage also affected customers of businesses that use the CBA’s merchant services; there were wide reports that customers of other institutions were unable to pay for purchases by Eftpos or contactless payments such as PayPass and payWave.
It followed a similar outage in March that affected CBA’s Albert payment tablets and other card payment terminals. That glitch lasted a day and led to cafe owners giving away coffees to customers who could not pay.
— Michael Smyth (@MichaelSmyth_) April 3, 2018
“We’re aware some customers may be experiencing intermittent issues with NetBank, CommBank app and CommBiz,” the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We know that some merchant terminals are also impacted. For our customers impacted by this issue, we are sorry. Please be assured we are working on this as a matter of priority.”
Initially, CBA said it expected to have the issue resolved quickly. But the problems dragged on, and customers – angry about payments that had been declined or money that had disappeared from accounts – vented their frustrations on social media.
A customer called Jen told aussieoutages.com she learned of the problems when she tried to pay for groceries.
“Just tried using my Comm Bank card at the supermarket and was told by the supermarket your card has been declined due to insufficient funds please contact the bank, which is not true,” she said.
“l tried four times and left red-faced and embarrassed.”
Another customer, Raida, reported widespread problems: “Home loan has no info, personal loan does. Debit card is fine, credit card is blank, all regular transaction and savings account are fine.”
Other customers reported being unable to withdraw cash from ATMs or make Eftpos payments. There were also complaints about transfers between accounts and credit card payments where money had been withdrawn from one account, but had not shown up in the other.
“My direct debit came off my credit card but I couldn’t put money on it as it wasn’t showing on Netbank. Now it’s showing on Netbank but it’s over the limit,” Caroline Winefield wrote on the bank’s Facebook page.
“I just tried to transfer onto it again and the money came out of my savings and then went nowhere.”
Some customers saw the bright side of the glitch – and were happy to report their liabilities to the CBA had also been wiped.
“I’m totally happy if you don’t link my credit card back to my account, it looks much better that way,” Michael Barnes said. “You can keep it and the numbers.”
— Kat Dumont (@Kat_Dumont) April 4, 2018
By early afternoon, normality had apparently returned – for some customers, at least.
My @CommBank credit cards and mortgage balances are back. I am once again in debt!
— Charlie (@charlietech) April 4, 2018
However, other customers continued to report widespread issues. Officially, CBA said extensive testing would be required before it could confirm the problems had been resolved.