Australian bank Westpac has been forced to shut down its online banking service after a security upgrade left some customers unable to access their accounts.
The problems first surfaced early morning Australian time, when some customers found they could not log on following a weekend cut over to a new security sign-in system.
Deluged by customer complaints, the bank decided to switch off its online banking service completely while it investigated the problems. Customers are being re-directed to telephone banking operators to complete transactions.
The bank has yet to provide customers with an estimated time for restoration of service as the problems continued throughout the night.
In August last year Westpac apologised to Internet banking customers after a batch of funds transfer transactions were duplicated due to "human error" during overnight processing. In September 2003, thousands of customers were affected by a similar foul up, in which regular bill payments were deducted twice from online accounts.
Westpac is not the only Australian bank suffering computer problems at present, with Bank of Queensland continuing to experience teething difficulties with ATMs and mortgage payment processing over its new Fiserv core banking system. The A$40 million implementation by outsourcing partner EDS has not gone smoothly for the bank, which has been fending off customer complaints since roll out ten months ago.