SINGAPORE: Customers of DBS Bank and Citibank heaved a sigh of relief as both banking giants announced the normalization of services on Sunday after a crippling outage on Saturday afternoon.
DBS has advised customers encountering difficulties with the mobile app to attempt logging in via digibank online, using an SMS OTP. It remarked, “We will be processing the PayNow/FAST transactions that were interrupted during the disruption with utmost priority,” and assured to update customers about transaction statuses.
In parallel, Citibank, responding to the situation, communicated that all its banking services, which were halted due to issues affecting ATMs, Citi Credit Cards, PayNow, and digital platforms, have been restored and apologized for the inconveniences faced by its clientele during the outage.
The root of the issue was traced to a data centre managed by Equinix, which experienced a technical problem, causing an elevation in temperatures and consequently impacting customer operations of various organisations, including the two banks.
On Saturday evening, US data centre operator Equinix informed the media that they were cognizant of the technical issue at one of its centres which was affecting operations for some customers, including DBS.
A spokesperson for Equinix conveyed, “We are conducting a thorough investigation into this event to identify ways we can better meet our customers’ needs.” They committed to maintaining open lines of communication with customers as more details from the investigation become available.
Sunday morning brought a further update from Equinix, revealing the technical issue had resulted in a temperature spike within the data centre, corroborating its impact on customer operations.
Waves of customer complaints flowed in Saturday afternoon, revealing an inability to access online and mobile banking services.
Furthermore, DBS ATMs displayed messages indicating, “This terminal is temporarily offline,” corroborating the technical issues at hand.
Downdetector displayed a notable spike in service disruption reports for DBS and Citibank from around 3 pm on Saturday.
DBS, in a bid to manage the debacle, utilized Facebook to release an apology, announcing the reopening of all branches – with the exception of those in Tampines Central, Tampines One, and White Sands – while efforts were underway to address the predicament.
As of now, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has not issued a statement regarding the recent disruption.
Earlier disruptions have beleaguered DBS, with two significant incidents occurring within a span of two months earlier this year. Following which, in May, MAS imposed an additional capital requirement on DBS.
CEO Piyush Gupta tendered an apology and assured that a special board committee review was being expedited with utmost priority. MAS has underscored the indispensability of the reliability of banks’ crucial IT systems, having previously instructed DBS to execute a detailed investigation following its 10-hour-long outage in March.
The memories of a substantial digital disruption in November 2021 still linger, as MAS regulations stipulate that financial institutions must ensure that the maximum unscheduled downtime for each critical system does not exceed four hours within any 12-month period.
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