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AS IT HAPPENED: Standard Bank systems crash

Sep 01 2014 11:48

Internet banking was down on Monday morning. Photo: Facebook

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Cape Town - Panic struck South African consumers and businesses on Monday, when Standard Bank experienced a hardware crash, halting all transactions for its clients.

With the recent African Bank fiasco and the downgrading of Capitec by Moody's, bank customers have been dealt several tough blows over the past month.

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Arthur Goldstuck, MD of  World Wide Worx, said it would be difficult to say how well Standard Bank responded without knowing what it was to which they were responding.

“If it was a major system crash, two hours would be seen as fast,” he told Fin24.

“If it was a minor glitch, two hours would be excessive. It is necessary, however, for them to explain to customers why their systems went down, and what they are doing to prevent a recurrence.”

All your latest Standard Bank Tweets:


LATEST NEWS: Standard Bank apologises for technical glitch.



Fin24 user Phumlane Mkhwanazi wrote: "Got embarrassed when I couldn't pay for petrol on my way to work."


Fin24 user Kealeboga Agnes Dikole Moalusi wrote: "It also happened in Vryburg and now the system is up and running but the queue is long."




Standard Bank has released this statement:

Apologies to everyone who experienced inconvenience possibly caused by a disruption to some of our services today.

Your overall experience with Standard Bank and the services we offer remains our priority.

Services that were impacted by the disruption included ATMs, debit and credit card purchases, internet banking as well as our telephone and APP services.

The majority of the services were restored within two hours following prompt action by our internal technical team. Our initial investigation points to an isolated hardware failure and we are investigating the cause of this.

Everything is being done to avoid this incident happening again.

We take this matter very seriously because it is important that you are able to access all of our services without fail 24/7. We continue to monitor our system closely.

Please call us on 0860 123 000 if you experience further problems.



Fin24 user Pearl B wrote about her experience at the Sandton Gautrain station:

“I am disappointed at the events that took place. I mean I got to the Sandton Gautrain station and was about to load money on my Gold card and it said insufficient funds. Now I've been in a long queue and when I got to the cashier, I received the news and people probably thought I was taking chances.
“It is really frustrating and I think when things like these happen, an alert should be sent to our phones so we can be made aware of the problems they encountered. I could not even withdraw from another bank's ATM.
“I am not blaming them because it’s an unfortunate event that was beyond their control and I don't think I would change my bank because of this. I think all banks go through some phase as FNB did last week where people's salaries were delayed.
I just think the banks should communicate with their customers when such technical issues occur.”


Fin24 user Kaylem Cronje wrote: "I was at the bank three times today, and I could not believe my ears how people spoke to the consultants. Come on people, how can you yell and be such idiots to these people, as if it is their fault? GROW UP. I would like to thank the staff and manager at Rivonia Branch for the excellent service.

Just like everybody I also had bills to pay and things that needed to be sorted out. By just talking nicely and being understanding, the manager of the branch helped me out. He also worked so hard to sort the other clients out. Thanks to all at the Standard Bank Rivonia Branch, for biting your lips and being so helpful towards myself and the rest of the people that utilise your branch."




Fin24 user Celeste de Lange wrote: "Did they try switching it off and on again?? Idiots in the IT dept probably tripped over a cable."


Fin24 user Abri Theart wrote: "Most banks have recently done and are busy with huge roll-outs (Software/Hardware). Normally Project- and Change Management are not properly attended to, and by GO-LIVE, short-cuts are taken, because time is running out. Gaps are discovered too late, scope creeping, in-comprehensive (use-phase)testing, and limited simulation sessions.

Plus the fact that Project Managers are leaving during the deployment [and so] competency gaps brings more stress on everyone, and focus is lost. By this time budget is depleted and the pressure is even more, just to get things done. In the meantime, the change management process was neglected and competency development was in a lower gear and priority. These factorscreate an environment for DISASTER. Hope that a honest root-cause analysis will be done, and proper recording of lessons learnt."


Fin24 user Manoj Bhoola wrote: "I could not check-in at a hotel in Europe and had to wait for over 90 minutes before the systems came up. Call centre was poor in providing a solution to me. Poor communication, no pro-active SMS or warning about the problem."


The Standard Bank systems crash has affected a Fin24 user oversees.


Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said an investigation is still being conducted into the hardware crash and Standard Bank will update Fin24 as soon as they know more details. A security breach has been ruled out completely.


Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said the reason why certain online customers were experiencing technical difficulties was due to the gridlock caused by the two-hour shutdown earlier. “We are very happy with the speed at which the system is picking up, and any technical issues are as a result of outstanding payments coming through the system, causing a gridlock. This shouldn’t last much longer.”


FNB confirmed to Fin24 that all's well at the bank and its Online Banking division. "FNB Online Banking is stable and available," says Christine Burrows.


Fin24 user Harshika Desai wrote: "The best part is that there is no disaster recovery plan in place... From what I noticed, seems like an internet upgrade gone wrong. the look of the home page has changed somewhat from what I am used to."



Standard Bank assured customers their system was not hacked and there was no security breach. It was a hardware failure, which needed to be restarted one section at a time after being fixed.


A Fin24 user said he got into internet banking, but that it was slow.


Fin24 user Brent Bartlett wrote: "Yes software and hardware glitches happen but Standard Bank's systems really need to be looked at. I have had three debit cards swallowed by ATM's for no obvious reasons this past month and problems with internet banking at least four times this past month. Why should I tolerate this?"


Fin24 user Andrew Rall wrote: "Standard Bank obviously has an insufficient Disaster Recovery (DR) facility. The loss of an entire mainframe should still not have taken all these systems down. The norm is to have 2 of everything, in 2 separate data centres split over 2 physical sites.

This obviously was not the case this time round and I'm sure heads will roll in the IT department, as well they should. Its easy to blame technology, but technology also enables banks to keep systems up even when components fail. Standard Bank was not ready for such a failure and that is on them, not technology."


Fin24 user Lekgotla Percy Mothupi wrote: "I think this is the 1st for Standard Bank - unlike FNB, they notify their people. Keep it behind u. This is normal with Technology...don't think we doubt u."








Fin24 user Kiki Solomon wrote: "In all fairness it is very inconvenient but in general Standard Bank is very reliable."


Fin24 user Darryl Lombard wrote: "If you concluded a transaction just before the system went down you better make sure that the transaction was successful. In April I transferred money to Standard Bank from my Absa account just as Bank server experienced problems. Afterwards Standard said they had not received the payment, while ABSA swore that the money had been transferred. I was bounced back and forth between the two banks for 3 months before an appeal to the ABSA CEO resulted in ABSA finally refunding my funds."


Fin24 user xchemistx73 wrote: "Not working and now I have exceeded my login attempts so my card is blocked. How am I supposed to do payroll or month end like this."


Fin24 user Eon Arc Du Plessis wrote: "Give their Techies and Programmers a chance (I am one myself, not by standard bank). It doesn't take much for a system to fall over. Just hope that they have good Backup Strategies and no cash is lost from anyone's account :)"








Meanwhile, Stanbic Bank, the Zimbabwe-based division of Standard Bank, posted 18.8% growth in after-tax profit to US$9.6m for the half-year ended June 2014. The group recorded an increase in income to $39.3m during the period under review from $36.8m, while its assets grew by 4% to $494.9m. See the full story.


NtokozoB wrote at 13:11: "They say the system is back on-line, however it does not even recognize my card number yeerr frustrating indeed!!!"


With regards to FNB, Annemarie Pienaar wrote to Fin24: "I did my payments from FNB no problem."






Fin24 journalist Adiel Ismail is in the field investigating. See his Twitter posts as he updates. Follow him on Twitter: @AfriNite



Jan Jansen van Rensburg wrote 14 minutes ago on Facebook: "Just been to branches at Greenmarket square and Mandela Rhodes. All still down."


Pat van Vuuren-Taylor wrote on Facebook that she was battling to pay her bills on the FNB site. Were you affected? Tell us now.




Public Eye wrote on Facebook that FNB and Absa were also affected. Were you affected? Tell us now.




Fin24 user Marcel De Graaf responds to Montjane's quote: “It was an isolated hardware issue, which affected the mainframe" Gee, what happened to fault tolerance, disaster recovery and high availability, surely Standard bank should have some serous redundancy in place as far as hardware is concerned to power to do what is needed to keep their systems up and prevent them from crashing.. I work in it and there is a saying "Have two of everything"





Fin24 user Nico Wassermann wrote: "Oh please, as if everybody else is perfect with no problems!! Standard Bank, you are STILL the best ...."


Fin24 user Nin Ja Kitty wrote: "There is a problem clearly. It doesn't help tweeting and carrying on. This is not the norm and it will do little good to shout and scream at the staff of Standard Bank, they are just as frustrated as you the customer. Data Recovery systems do not instantaneously kick in when the first sign of trouble happens. There are processes in place that need to be followed before these can be activated. Please just slow down about this. I neither work for nor bank with Standard Bank. These things happen."




Montjane: "We are doing a proper investigation into the cause now that everything is back up and running."


Montjane: “We focused on understanding where it was focused. The first system – ATMs - came back up at 10:48. The system started to come up slowly from there.”


Montjane: “It was an isolated hardware issue, which affected the mainframe.”


Montjane: "Our biggest apologies to our customers: Banking should be available 24/7."


Montjane:"If customers were adversely affected, we will look into compensating for that."


Montjane: "I want to reassure customers that there was no security breach. Hacking played no part.  It was a hardware failure."


Funeka Montjane, Standard Bank’s Chief Executive: Personal and Business Banking has just spoken to Fin24 in a telephonic interview.


The Standard Bank problem follows a string of bad news for South African banks, with the collapse of African Bank triggering a series of downgrades for local banks.


- TIMELINE: Story of an African Bank
- Bank downgrades bad news for consumers


Standard Bank press statement on crash:

Standard Bank wishes to apologise to customers who are experiencing disruption to some of our services today.  
“We would like to reassure our customers that their overall experience with Standard Bank and the services we offer remains our top priority and we regret any inconvenience caused,” said  Funeka Montjane, Standard Bank’s Chief Executive: Personal and Business Banking, South Africa.  

Services that were impacted by the disruption included ATM functionality, debit and credit card purchases, Internet Banking as well as telephone and APP services.

These services were restored within two hours following prompt action by Standard Bank’s internal technical team. We are investigating the root cause of the system failure. Our initial investigation has determined that the incident was cause by hardware failure.  Every action is being taken to avoid the incident repeating itself.

“Standard Bank takes this matter very seriously as it is important that our customers are able to access all of our services seamlessly and without fail 24/7. We will be monitoring the system closely,” said Montjane.

Should any customer experience further problems or have any related queries they are encouraged to contact Standard Bank’s call centre on 0860 123 000


Standard Bank touching people on their studios this morning.


Standard Bank says their systems are back up and running.







Standard Bank responded to Fin24: Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom apologized on behalf of the bank to all customers impacted by the issue. “We are working fast to rectify the problem,” he told Fin24. “Looks like systems are coming up soon.” See full story here.


Fin24 user Ashok Desai wrote: "I believe Standard Bank has been completely down since this morning. Can you investigate and update us on your website. It is amazing that a bank of this stature does not have a disaster recovery plan in place."


Fin24 user Jenette Risi wrote in:
"Can't pay Eskom ! Is Standard Bank going to pay interest charges fr late payment !! It's a bank !! They DON'T Care !!"


Just in from a Fin24 user:
“I visited a number of ATMs around Adderley street and Cape Town, and couldn’t withdraw cash from any of these. I can also not use internet banking or any of the apps. According to friends on Twitter, they can’t even swipe their Standard Bank cards anywhere.

"I was in the same group of people walking from one ATM to the next trying to withdraw cash, but couldn’t do so anywhere. As time progressed, people were becoming extremely upset – it is the first of the month, after all. It sounded like some people were trying to withdraw cash because they couldn’t move their money electronically (which is exactly why I needed cash), but you couldn’t even do that.”

standard bank  |  atm

Is the trust dead?

2019-09-17 06:00


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