Australia: 6 banks face network outages; services hit

On Thursday, several Australian banks, including Ubank, Bank Australia, Defence Bank, Beyond Bank, People’s Choice, and P&N Bank, encountered technical issues leading to outages, preventing customers from making online transfers or using mobile banking apps. Notifications on the affected banks’ websites indicated that features like online transfers, smartphone apps, and the use of Osko, a secure payment service, were unavailable.

The source of the outages appears to be a network issue at Data Action, a software company providing online banking services to many newer “challenger banks.” According to reports, Data Action acknowledged the network outage, affecting its clients and their customers’ access to internet banking and mobile banking apps. The company’s spokesperson stated that their teams are diligently working to identify and resolve the issues, expressing regret for the inconvenience caused and assuring ongoing communication with clients to provide updates.

The disruptions began earlier in the day, with Ubank, owned by NAB, notifying customers of intermittent issues around 12 pm. The bank acknowledged the frustration experienced by customers trying to perform routine banking activities, such as moving money between accounts, due to the ongoing problems with the app, online banking, and Osko payments. Ubank, like some other banks, identified the issue as stemming from a third-party vendor and was collaborating to address the problem.

As the situation unfolded, other affected banks issued similar messages to their customers, acknowledging the challenges and emphasizing efforts to rectify the issues with the assistance of Data Action. The disruptions highlight the interconnected nature of the banking ecosystem and the impact that technical issues at third-party service providers can have on multiple financial institutions simultaneously.

By 5 pm on Thursday, Ubank and other affected banks were still actively working to resolve the ongoing disruptions. Ubank specifically mentioned that they were addressing the issue in collaboration with the third-party vendor responsible for the outages. The acknowledgment of the problem and the commitment to resolving it underscore the banks’ dedication to minimizing inconvenience for their customers.

The situation reflects the increasing reliance of banks on third-party service providers for critical functionalities, and disruptions at these service providers can have cascading effects on multiple financial institutions. The incident emphasizes the need for robust contingency plans and cooperation between banks and their service providers to swiftly address and rectify such technical issues.

Customers of the affected banks were encouraged to stay informed through the banks’ official channels for updates on the ongoing situation. The banks expressed regret for any inconvenience caused and reassured customers that they were working diligently to restore full functionality to their banking services.

As the financial institutions and Data Action continue their efforts to identify and resolve the root causes of the network outage, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity and resilience in the ever-evolving digital landscape of banking and financial services. It also highlights the critical role of communication in managing customer expectations during unforeseen disruptions to banking services.

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