'Day of starvation' as CommBank online customers unable to access funds
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'Day of starvation' as CommBank online customers unable to access funds

Commonwealth Bank customers were blocked from making online payments and accessing the CommBank phone app for hours on Monday, while non-CBA Visa card transactions at the bank's terminals were down across the country until the afternoon.

The bank issued a statement about 7am saying it was aware of an issue affecting Visa card transactions at CBA merchant terminals and some payments via its online banking service NetBank and its mobile phone CommBank app.

Can't: Commonwealth Bank  customers are unable to access their accounts online.

Can't: Commonwealth Bank customers are unable to access their accounts online.

Photo: AAP

An unnamed "issue" at one of the bank's two data centres has now been blamed for the problem.

That issue "led to all NetBank and CommBank app traffic routed through our other data centre," a spokesman said on Monday evening.

"This reduced capacity has caused some users to experience issues logging in and making payments or transfers. We apologise to our customers and thank them for their patience while we work to restore services.

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Services began to be restored around midday, but customers continued to experience issues for a number of hours.

The spokesman said the bank was unsure how many people had been affected.

"It's other institutions' Visa cards ... it's not affecting our own MasterCard, so it's a little bit difficult to put a number on how many people are affected," he said.

A Twitter user from Melbourne tweeted that they had been unable to transfer money since 5am.

"No food, no money to transfer meaning a day of starvation. I’m on the verge of collapsing," the user wrote.

Another person from Brisbane tweeted that they had a "trolley full of groceries here at Coles and I can’t pay".

By the afternoon, customers responding to the bank on Twitter were growing increasingly frustrated with the bank's social media updates that were not reflecting their experience.

At 2pm the Netbank website was still down and some users were still unable to access the app – despite tweets from CommBank that both were up and running.

"Would be much more helpful to get an actual ETA of when this will be fixed, instead of these useless 'updates'," one tweeted.

The bank's spokesman said the issues with online banking came down to "when people were trying to log onto the app".

"It's a capacity thing as we gradually work through it."

"We know this is frustrating and we apologise for this. Some customers may still have intermittent issues with payments and transfers in NetBank and [the] CommBank app. We’re working to resolve service as soon as possible."

As for the Visa card transactions on CBA terminals, those are "now processing normally", he said.

While the issue has largely been resolved, the spokesman said the bank app is still experiencing "intermittent problems". If customers are encountering an issue, they should wait a few minutes and try again.

Maani Truu is a casual journalist and producer at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Jenny Noyes is a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a writer and editor at Daily Life.

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