Wednesday 13 December 2017

Online banking service stays offline as technical staff battle to correct glitch

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

HUNDREDS of thousands of customers were still unable to use the Bank of Ireland online banking service yesterday.

The bank was still working to restore access to its website for customers who have been unable to fully use the service since Tuesday.

Technical issues -- of which the bank will not give details -- caused mayhem on the retail website this week, forcing customers to use the bank's telephone service and branches to conduct transactions.

While the site was partially operational by Thursday, customers reported not being able to transfer funds in order to pay bills or to move money between accounts.

The site was only intermittently able to display previous transactions.

A spokeswoman for the bank declined to say yesterday how many transactions were usually conducted on a daily basis over its retail website, citing competitive confidentiality.

Bank of Ireland has 1.2 million customers and began offering internet banking services in 1997. At the time, there were only 150,000 internet subscribers in the country.

A decision was taken by the bank on Thursday to temporarily pull the plug on the website until it could properly address the problems affecting it.

A message on the site yesterday read: "We are currently experiencing technical issues and hope to have normal service restored as soon as possible. All our branches are open as normal."

The site was updated about 5pm yesterday, informing customers that the service was "currently unavailable to customers until later today".

The spokeswoman said that customers could continue to use ATMs, Laser cards, telephone and branches in order to conduct their business.

The website was due to be operational again by late yesterday afternoon, but the bank cautioned that further work would be necessary on its systems over the weekend.

"Our objective is to complete stabilisation of IT connectivity over the weekend," it said in a statement.

When the bank's ATMs malfunctioned on Tuesday, queues began forming at the machines as customers learned they could withdraw more funds than were in their accounts. They'll be forced to repay the money, however. The bank's branches also operated a restricted cash service for a time due to the technical glitch.

The Consumers' Association of Ireland said customers who withdrew more funds this week than they had in their accounts, or were authorised to withdraw, should not be liable for interest on those amounts.

Irish Independent

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