As IT systems outages go, this one was doozy. Capitec, one of South Africa’s fastest-growing banks, went offline for almost two days last week – Thursday and Friday – infuriating its customers.
The bank has blamed an “internal infrastructure problem” and has promised to do better.
Services were eventually returning during the day on Friday. All systems were functioning normally and payments that had been delayed by the system problems had been processed by Saturday.
“We know we’ve let our clients down and we sincerely apologise. This was an internal infrastructure issue, and we want to assure our clients that their money and data are safe with us, as always. We have never experienced an issue of this magnitude and will continue to do our best to ensure that this does not happen again. We have system upgrades and tests in place to support this,” Capitec said in a statement.
The bank explained that it “paused” its digital channels for about 40 hours to “ensure a sustainable recovery”. This was after one of its banking system databases “slowed down sporadically”. It didn’t expand on the what caused the database problem.
Although its clients could not access the banking app, USSD and Internet banking, the Capitec IT team prioritised its efforts to ensure that clients could still access their money at point-of-sales and ATMs, the bank said.
“Keeping clients best interests in mind, the bank will also refund all banking fees incurred due to the downtime.”
System problems – include total outages – are not as uncommon in South Africa’s banking sector as one might think. Ongoing problems at Standard Bank prompted the company recently to let go of its head of IT engineering, for example. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media