Commonwealth Bank Tech Outage Strikes Again, Leaving Customers Without Cash

11/09/2015 10:12 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Fairfax Media

Commonwealth Bank is again offline, leaving customers stranded here and abroad without cash, in just the latest in a series of lengthy outages in recent months.

The seemingly routine task of paying by card, withdrawing cash or making an online purchase has left thousands stumped today, with many venting on social media.

But a look back at the major outages this year shows they have all happened on a Friday. Is it time for CommBank customers to withdraw cash on a Thursday and keep it under the bed?

A Commonwealth Bank spokesperson said late on Friday that services were "returning to normal" and apologised to their customers for the inconvenience.

The banking giant, which announced almost a million new accounts opened in the 2014-2015 financial year, has had difficulty keeping in systems in line in recent months. Here's the timeline of Friday horrors:

Journalist James Eyers reported in the AFR last month that CommBank was investing heavily in technology, quoting CEO Ian Narev from an analyst's call on full-year results.

Narev reckons the best way to compete against banking rivals and tech players "is to do exactly what we are doing, which is invest heavily in technology".

"We don't have this great insight that technology is changing the world. We do have some advantages we like to think in execution, but everybody is going after this hard. Even if we have this technology advantage, however you measure it, it can go in an instant."

An instant, or perhaps multiple lengthy consumer outages.

Commonwealth Bank issued a statement on the problems, saying:

"We are aware some customers are experiencing intermittent issues accessing some of our systems. The cause of the problem is under urgent investigation and we are working to have full services restored as a matter of priority. We apologise for the inconvenience to customers and thank them for their patience."

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