Thousands of Australians were unable to access funds over the long weekend, after Westpac suffered a mobile outage lasting over 24 hours.
With systems breaking down on the morning of Sunday 11 June, the banking giant issued an alert to users regarding the IT glitch, which resulted in customers being locked out of online and mobile banking systems.
Despite normal banking services still being available, the outage coincided with the Queen’s Birthday public holiday - impacting all states except Queensland and Western Australia - leaving customers stranded and without cash.
In a social media statement, Westpac told its 200,000 plus Facebook followers that it was “terribly sorry” for the incident, and was “working as quickly as we possibly can” to fix the issue.
Yet more than 36 hours later - at 6pm on Monday 12 June - a further social media post from the bank acknowledged that a small number of customers were still having issues logging in, advising those impacted to either send direct messages or call for assistance.
“We are aware there is still a limited number of people experiencing issues with our Mobile and Online Banking,” a statement read.
“We're continuing to work on access for those customers not yet able to log in, but if you need help this evening please direct message us.
“Cardless Cash, ATM, EFTPOS & Telephone Banking services are available and working as normal. Our sincere apologies to those still affected, and to those inconvenienced over the weekend.”
As a result of failing to fix the outage quickly, the bank faced a wave of criticism from disgruntled users via social media.
“I want access to MY money! Has been like this since Sunday morning – more than 24 hours now,” wrote one customer.
Meanwhile, another customer wrote - “couldn’t even buy a coffee on my way to work on a cold Monday morning Westpac because I don’t know if I have any money in my cards and can’t transfer into them because I can’t get into my mobile banking."
As the outage dragged on, another user wrote - “I’ve been with westpac just over a month and this is the second time this has happened. Ridiculous.”
This isn’t the first time Westpac has suffered a serious IT glitch in 2017, with the bank reporting a major outage in branches across the country in February, with a range of “technical issues” taking the bank out of action for more than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, in November 2016, Westpac suffered a week-long systems failure, again impacting online and mobile banking platforms, which were unable to process payments or provide latest balance statements.