It is getting hard to keep track of the number of IT-related glitches plaguing Australian banks lately.
Late last week, Australian news media reported that many customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia were unhappy once again because of yet another glitch with the bank's computer systems. This time, the Daily Telegraph reported, customers found that they could not access their ATM accounts or make Electronic Fund Transfer Point of Sales (EFTPOS) purchases for about 5 hours on Friday afternoon. Phone banking was said to be down as well.
CBA has suffered several IT-related glitches in the past year, including one in March where its ATMs were dispensing "free cash," one in December of last year when it experienced an overnight payments processing glitch, and one last August in which a security upgrade caused a round of "banking chaos."
Given that the Australian banking sector is expected to experience IT operational turmoil for the foreseeable future, maybe the Australian government should consider running a betting scheme where Australians can wager on which major bank will suffer a computer problem and on what day. That way the Australian government can generate a bit more revenue for itself, and major bank customers might at least feel they are not suffering IT frustration without at least some possibility of gain for their troubles.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.