Faster Payments outage delays thousands of transactions

Faster Payments outage delays thousands of transactions

The UK's Faster Payments system has not been so fast for some customers this week thanks to a system failure on Sunday that has seen thousands of transactions take two days to process.

The Faster Payments Scheme, which is used by all the major UK banks, says that it experienced "intermittent issues with its central infrastructure" for four and a half hours on Sunday afternoon.

The "vast majority" of the backlog payments were processed later that day but, nearly two days later, around 8000 were still outstanding.

Some affected customers have been hit by overdraft fees as a result of the outage, although the Faster Payments Scheme insists that no one will be left out of pocket.

In the meantime, the scheme is working with Mastercard-owned Vocalink, which is behind the Faster Payments IT infrastructure, to investigate the cause of the problem.

While details are scant, the issue is related to the central infrastructure, not the bank gateways.

Nearly a decade after launching, last year the Faster Payments Scheme began seeking 'Expressions of Interest' from tech vendors for the renewal and management of its back-end infrastructure.

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 July, 2018, 20:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

They probably had to wheel out a CONNEX expert out from a retirement home to fix the service...  I think this is the first recorded service outage since it went live in 2008.

Hoss Atri
Hoss Atri - FinVues - Chelmsford 10 July, 2018, 21:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

.... or a BASE 24 coder and an MTS engineer?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 July, 2018, 07:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Hoss, there is no Base24 or MTS involved in the Faster Payments central infrastructure.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 July, 2018, 08:32Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes A new management team, a new operator (NPSO), a new owner (Mastercard) of the central infrastructure outsourcing service, a new regulator (PSR), a new payments architecture (NPA) under consideration, transactions volumes ticking up towards 2bn....there are a lot of moving parts in FPS at the moment. I hope otherwise, but is this a symptom of too much change too quickly?
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 July, 2018, 08:42Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

New org structures don't usually impact IT systems, and the NPA is only under consideration. I would guess the outage was the result of routine maintenance.

When the NPA is implemented and the central infrastructure is replaced, that's when we might see some dramatic outages!

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