Finance Finance News NAB’s second outage in a week threatens bank trust: expert

NAB’s second outage in a week threatens bank trust: expert

nab outage
Experts said NAB's second outage in a week needed to be fixed so a trend would not emerge. Photo: Getty
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National Australia Bank is refusing to reveal the cause of its second ATM and EFTPOS outage in a week as customers complain of persistent service disruptions.

NAB released a statement on Monday afternoon confirming the outage and saying services were “now starting to come back online”.

“The outage meant some NAB customers were not able to use their NAB cards in ATMs or EFTPOS terminals. It also affected some NAB merchant terminals and HICAPS,” the statement read.

However thousands of customers were furious at the inconvenience that they had been forced to endure.

Jae Gardner wrote on Facebook: “It’s embarrassing and I’m afraid to even try it again. I need to pay for parking but don’t want the transaction to be cancelled again and be embarrassed.”

Jan Amos posted: “I’m in Yarra valley and we were all hit out here with high winds so lots of houses with no power… trying to pay for things we need with no cards now.”

A NAB spokesperson declined to elaborate on the cause of the outage when questioned by The New Daily.

Last Wednesday’s NAB outage was caused by an IBM software error, according to itnews.

Experts told The New Daily that NAB would be very concerned about the dual outages, while customers continued to complain of service disruptions as late as 6pm (AEDT) on Monday.

University of Wollongong finance expert and former bank executive Paul Mazzola told The New Daily both outages would have a negative impact on consumer trust.

“They need to trust the banks to ensure the service and network are always operational because banking is a daily need and even if the system is down for one day, that interrupts the flow of transactions we all depend upon,” Mr Mazzola said. “If this occurs on a frequent basis you might find that customers would consider leaving their bank.”

He predicted “there would be” panic behind the scenes at NAB, but that the bank had to maintain a composed public face as its systems failed.

“Banks rely so heavily on customer deposits for their funding base so one of the priorities is to portray the image of a safe and sound institution,” Mr Mazzola said.

NAB customers furious

Customers around Australia, and even some from overseas, complained of the embarrassment and inconvenience the NAB outage caused them.




The torrent of complaints also caused NAB’s phone service to buckle.

“Apologies all,” NAB posted to social media. “It’s difficult to get through to our contact centre at the moment due to the high volume of calls.

“Our branches are open & you can get cash out with our people there. We’re sorry about this everyone – we’ll do our best to service & update you here,” NAB posted on its Facebook page.

Not even visiting a branch was a solution for some, though.

Mr Mazzola said the banks were under attack by everyday Australians, given the pressure for a royal commission.

This episode would not help NAB, he claimed.

NAB, CBA and ANZ are guilty of breaches within their organisations stemming from cultural issues where once they discover the breaches or misdemeanours there has been inaction in problem solving from the top.

Once we see a repetition and lack of senior management action that signals the problem, he added.

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