A mistake during scheduled IT maintenance locked an unknown number of Nationwide customers out of their online bank accounts.
Nationwide confirmed to V3 the outage occurred after an undisclosed error during scheduled IT maintenance work on 14 June and led to an outcry on Twitter from Nationwide customers.
@AskNationwide what's going on with mobile/internet banking again guys? Down yesterday & again today. A lot of outages in the last month :(— דמיאן (@Iam_ld2l) June 15, 2015
Oh dear @AskNationwide, oh dear. I like many others, missing a bank account this morning.— Mike McConnell (@Lorcav) June 15, 2015
Nationwide had not responded to V3's request for more information about the nature of the issue that caused the outage at the time of publishing, but said that service has now resumed.
“We are aware of an issue that meant some customers were unable to access the Internet and Mobile Banks for a short period this morning. We have resolved the issue and apologise for any inconvenience caused," it said.
“Throughout this period, customers could [...] still can use their cards to pay for goods and access funds at ATMs.”
Customers have continued to complain despite being able to access their accounts as normal, pointing out that it was one of many Nationwide service outages in recent years.
Problems occurred in July 2014 when scheduled maintenance over-ran, leaving customers unable to access their accounts.
Colin Mitchell, financial services and insurance director at Delphix UK, mirrored the customers' concerns but added that Nationwide is one of many banks to suffer outages this year.
"Nationwide is no stranger to glitches but it is by no means alone. This year we've already seen system failures at Tesco Bank, NatWest and Sainsbury's Bank," he said.
Mitchell explained that the banks will need to improve their systems to better deal with updates or face potential loss of business, as platforms like Twitter make it very easy for customers to voice their discontent.
"Consumers are becoming more and more vocal about the frustrations they experience when banking services go down," he said.
"Banks have to find a way to move faster but not risk their critical reputation capital. To make sure that IT systems are resilient and reliable, there needs to be more focus on moving towards risk-free testing."
The banking industry is one of many battling with service downtime. Apple's iCloud and App Store services suffered an unexplained outage earlier in June, while O2 faced a similar customer backlash in May after its network went down over a bank holiday weekend.
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