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Standard Bank explains what happened

Sep 03 2014 16:11
Matthew le Cordeur
Cape Town – Behind fixing the problems around Standard Bank’s systems crash on Monday was a dedicated team of staff, who worked tirelessly to get it resolved, the bank said on Wednesday.

- Read our live coverage from Monday

“Standard Bank would like to thank the employees who worked really hard to bring this about,” said the bank’s spokesperson, Ross Linstrom, “and our customers for their patience and understanding.”

Funeka Montjane, Standard Bank’s SA chief executive of personal and business banking, told 702 Talk Radio's Xolani Gwala on Monday that Standard Bank processes about 200 transactions per second on ATMs and point of sales.

Conductor crash

“We don’t process the entire traffic towards one mainframe,” she said. “We actually have multiple mainframes, so that when one falls, it backs off to another.

“To ensure they are always in synch, you always make sure there is a conductor,” she said. “They take turns in conducting.”

“The mainframe, which was also the conductor, was the one that had a component issue,” she told Gwala. “Unfortunately at that point in time, the mainframe was the one that was also responsible for the orchestration,” she said.

“So the whole system fell down.”

Judgement call

 “We made a judgement call that it was going to take a couple of hours to switch on to a disaster recovery site, and so we decided to fix it on live,” she said.

“The system shutting down protects the integrity of data and it also protects our customer against any adverse transactions.”

“We worked as fast as we could to restore the services,” she said.

Listen to the full interview below, that was first aired on 702 Talk Radio with Xolani Gwala.


Fin24 meanwhile still received complaints of the system being down as recent as 01:47 on Wednesday morning.

Duncan Gohl send a screenshot to show the actual time and error message: It read: Technical error. Please try again later.

Paul Stuart emailed:"Yep... and it continues today into midnight the 3rd."

"Not only was I inconvenienced yesterday, but it is now 18:40 on Tuesday evening and I still cannot pay my accounts. Poor show once again from our banking system," wrote Brian Coetzee.

- What Standard Bank should have done - expert

* Were you affected by the crash? Send your stories and photos to Fin24.

All your latest Standard Bank Tweets:

standard bank  |  atm  |  system crash


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