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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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OCBC blames software failure for 3-hour service outage

ATMs and banking channels were down during the outage on 1 September.

A software failure in the backup unit of OCBC’s core banking system disrupted services and caused the outage on 1 September, the bank revealed.

The disruption occurred intermittently from 8:45 p.m. and worsened at 8:53 p.m. when all banking channels went down, whilst services resumed progressively from 11:32 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. For three hours, users were unable to use automated teller machines (ATM), online banking channels, and other cards services.

According to OCBC group CEO Samuel Tsien, the failure resulted in the customer transaction data not being successfully transferred. “This caused the storage in the core banking system to reach its maximum capacity and to stop accepting new transaction data,” he said.

“The software failure signal was unfortunately not detected for rectification due to a human oversight,” Tsien added. “As a result, the core banking system was not able to function properly, which affected our ATM network, online banking channels, NETS and card services.”

The CEO clarified that when the system was restarted to restore the services, all customer and transaction data was protected. “We have also put in place measures to prevent any future recurrence,” he added.

“The service disruption was totally unacceptable. I am grateful for the patience and understanding of our customers and I would like to sincerely apologize to all our customers again for the inconvenience that this incident has caused them,” Tsien concluded. 

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