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Standard Bank system down on 7 February

By Jessica Anne Wood

Thousands of customers will be affected by Standard Bank’s system changes this Sunday which will result in several services being disrupted. This is not the first time that Standard Bank has had to inform customers of a downtime in services. Last year the bank experienced a number of problems including a technical glitch which results in disruptions for some of the bank’s platforms.

“As a result of customer needs changing, the world of banking has improved over the years, introducing new channels; particularly digital, self-service and social media. Standard Bank has scheduled system changes to provide a single customer view and ensure a consistent customer experience across different channels,” said the bank.

Arthur Goldstuck, founder of World Wide Worx, noted: “It is fairly common for banks to take down their systems over weekend or in the early hours of the morning to make major changes to their systems. This is done to ensure that system upgrades, moving to new data centres or implementing new back-end controls do not bring down the service during the most active transactional periods. It is in the interest of customers for systems to be upgraded, but probably not wise to do so at a time when customers are most dependent on these systems.

“We tend to hear about it only when we are customers of a particular bank, or when a bank's systems crash when they try to make "live" changes. It is standard procedure around the world to announce specific downtimes.”

What will be affected?

The system downtime will affect customers’ ability to perform certain banking activities and transactions from 02:00 to 20:00 on Sunday. The services to be disrupted are as follows:

  •  Customers will have limited access to bank account facilities such as beneficiary payments and inter-account transfers.
  • ATM deposits will be unavailable.
  • The banking app, internet and cell phone banking services will be unavailable.
  • There will be limited assistance at Standard Bank branches and the AlwaysOn Banking channel via WeChat.

But shopping should still be doable as the bank said customers will still be able to use their debit, cheque or credit cards to make in-store purchases, as well as make cash withdrawals at ATMs.

“While Standard Bank recognises the impact of service disruptions on customers, the downtime is necessary to make the system changes, and to ensure that customers’ personal information is safe and secure,” said the bank.

Plan ahead

In order to limit the impact that the system downtime has on customers, Standard Bank has encouraged customers to plan ahead. Below are some transactions the bank suggested customers to ahead of the system downtime:

  • Make payments or do banking transactions via the banking app, internet and cell phone banking before Sunday.
  • Transfer any required money to relevant accounts in advance.
  • Top up airtime and electricity before the weekend to avoid any shortfall.
  • Although customers will still be able to use their debit, cheque or credit cards to make purchases, it is worthwhile to consider withdrawing cash to have on hand.

“Standard Bank apologises in advance for the inconvenience. For any queries, customers can call the Standard Bank Call Centre on 0860 123 000,” added the bank.

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