Retailers Hit By Westpac Owned Banks Crash
Consumer electronics retailers who were banking on holiday weekend sales to drive holiday traffic have been unable to electronically process thousands of transactions after the Westpac owned banks St George Bank of Melbourne and BankSA crashed.
Westpac who has a track record of online failures were unable to bring their computers back online after a weekend scheduled maintenance operation.
All they had to do was turn the computer off and on while performing scheduled maintenance but it all went wrong when the computers were turned back on with updates crashing systems delivering real time transaction data.
Now software engineers are concerned that they could lose millions in transactions.
The outage, which left many people unable to access their savings. Westpac who are slashing investments in their local banking operations replacing local banks with kiosks and ATM machines linked to call centres has refused to comment about the crash.
To add further salt to customers’ wounds, the banks’ branches were closed on Monday in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT due to the Labour Day holiday.
Fairfax Media said that as the outage entered more than 28 hours on Monday afternoon, tens of thousands of customers from St George Bank, the Bank of Melbourne and BankSA were left to express their frustration on the banks’ Facebook pages.
“Went out for lunch and couldn’t transfer money to pay was extremely embarrassing!” St George customer Jules Lewis wrote on the bank’s Facebook page on Sunday afternoon.
“All plans now cancelled for this evening as we have no access to funds without internet or phone banking….cheers St George.”
Another customer, Chris Garrett, wrote: “Thanks St George, for the ruined long weekend. Thank you for confining my family to the house as our holiday plans require us to access our money … This is an absolute joke.
“You will be losing a record amount of customers come Tuesday.”
Another, Brianne Lowe, wrote: “This is absolutely ridiculous!! It’s a public holiday and we can’t go anywhere or do anything! I can’t put petrol in my car, can’t buy nappies and I cannot do my food shopping so I have no idea what we will be eating for dinner.
“Hurry up and get it fixed. Your IT guys need a kick up the ass.”
A source told Fairfax that if Westpac could not recover the transactional files of its smaller banks, it faced the very real risk of losing potentially millions of dollars.
One angry customer in Queensland told ChannelNews “If they lose millions that will teach them a lesson”.
Westpac declined to comment on the reason behind the outage and said closed branches would not be opening.
In July, Fairfax Media reported that Westpac Banking Corp was losing over $1 million a day because its computer systems do not allow it to charge property investors and owner occupiers different interest rates.