Banking IT glitches leave one in seven people unable use their card in 2018, Which? survey reveals

Maria Nikolova

In a survey of more than 2,000 people, one in seven told Which? they had experienced a glitch that prevented from using their card during 2018.

Banking IT glitches and outages have resulted in millions of people being unable to use their credit or debit cards last year, a new survey conducted by UK consumer body Which? reveals.

The survey of more than 2,000 people showed that one in seven had experienced a glitch that made it impossible to use their card over the course of 2018. Furthermore, one in twenty people had it happen more than once.

The consumer body estimates that roughly seven million people were unable to make a payment at some point last year. Of them, half were not able to pay for goods and services at the point of sale, or struggling to pay their bills.

Worryingly, one in ten people affected by an outage suffered a financial penalty, such as a late payment fee. The same proportion said their credit score was damaged because they failed to pay a bill on time.

Between April 2018 and the end of the year, there were 302 incidents where an IT or security outage stopped bank customers’ from making payments, earlier Which? research has found.

Caroline Wayman, chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service said that the Ombudsman has registered a ‘large increase in current account complaints and high profile IT banking failures were a large part of it.

The results of the survey are published about a year after the Visa tech outage, which left people across the UK and Europe unable to make any card payments.

As per results of a survey published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last year, covering 296 firms, there has been a rising number of tech outages in the financial services sector.

Cyber-attacks show no sign of decreasing in volume. They accounted for 18% of the operational incidents reported to the FCA between October 2017 and September 2018. Technology outages in the financial services sector are becoming more frequent. The number of such incidents reported to the FCA has increased by 138% in the year to September 2018.

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