Digital outage hits HDFC Bank customers again

Digital outage hits HDFC Bank customers again

(This story originally appeared in on Mar 31, 2021)

MUMBAI: customers yet again experienced downtime on their internet and mobile banking with services not accessible to them for several hours. Although the bank said that it was an “intermittent issue” faced by a section of customers in the morning, some of them said that even at 6pm they could not get access to lender’s online services.

The latest glitch in providing online access comes at a time when HDFC Bank is expected to get back to the banking regulator on how it has addressed recurrent issues on its digital banking platform.

In December 2020, the RBI had barred HDFC Bank from new digital launches and issuance of fresh credit cards until it addressed its digital issues. The RBI had also asked the bank’s board to identify lapses and fix accountability. The RBI’s directive came after a prolonged outage of digital services following a power outage at the bank’s primary data centre.

Incidentally, HDFC bank had told investors that it should be able to address the regulator’s concerns in a few months. The fresh outage could raise fresh concerns for the RBI. Sources said that prima facie customers faced service outage and this was not a planned downtime and the central bank would seek more information.

According to sources, Monday’s outage was due to the bank losing connectivity to data centres. The bank had responded to customer complaints on social media with a standard statement that “some customers are facing intermittent issues accessing our net banking/mobile banking app. We are looking into it on priority for resolution. We apologise for the inconvenience and request you to try again after some time”.

Tuesday’s outage hit customers hard as it came on the penultimate day of the financial year and after a long weekend. Several customers complained about their inability to pay their credit card bills. Some customers said that branch visit was not an option as in salary accounts, the home branch is usually close to their office and with most people working from home, the “home” branch is out of reach for them. Besides internet and mobile banking, customers complained about not being able to access their funds through unified payments interface (UPI) apps as well.

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