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Data centre glitch disrupts digital banking services at DBS and Citibank

Widespread banking service disruptions affected DBS and Citibank on October 14 in Singapore, impacting ATMs, online and mobile services for hours.

Singapore's DBS and Citibank customers faced several hours of service disruption on Saturday, October 14. The outage affected various digital services, including online banking and payment platforms.

The root of the problem

Both banks pointed to a technical issue at a data centre as the cause. DBS stated that the problem was at a data centre used by multiple organisations. The bank swung into action to shift to its backup data centre and started restoring services progressively from 7 pm. By 10:10 pm, they announced that all ATMs were operational again, although some digital services remained offline. 

Data centre provider Equinix confirmed that the technical glitch had been resolved and is in contact with affected customers. Citibank described the problem as a “temporary outage” and began restoring services as well.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore kept in the loop

Both banks promptly informed the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) about the service disruptions. The authority revealed that its initial investigations indicated that a common data centre used by both banks was the culprit. MAS is following up closely with both financial institutions to ensure the complete restoration of services and effective communication with affected customers.

Public response and previous incidents

The outage started around 3 pm and was widely reported on and Downdetector, a website that tracks service disruptions. Many users expressed their frustrations, citing problems with ongoing transactions and payments at retail outlets. DBS reopened all but three of its branches to deal with the situation and assured customers that their money and deposits were safe. This is not the first time DBS has faced such disruptions. Earlier this year, the bank experienced two similar incidents that led MAS to impose additional capital requirements.

Notably, the disruption was not limited to Singapore; customers outside the country reported difficulties using credit cards issued by these banks for online transactions. Meanwhile, services from other local banks like and OCBC remained unaffected, although some OCBC customers reported issues completing transactions involving DBS.

While digital disruptions are an operational risk, the quick response from DBS and Citibank and the oversight from MAS are steps in the right direction to instil confidence among users. The event also serves as a reminder to banks and service providers to continually enhance their digital infrastructure to avoid similar incidents in the future.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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