Bank app payments take hours in holiday glitch

By Minh Son, Vien Thong   April 30, 2023 | 02:15 am PT
Bank app payments take hours in holiday glitch
Staff serve customers at a bank in Hanoi in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
It took Khanh, a Ho Chi Minh City resident, four hours to pay for six air tickets for her family to go on holiday on April 30.

Khanh said that on the morning of Friday, she booked tickets for a flight from HCMC to Chu Lai in the central province of Quang Nam with a price of VND1.2 million ($51) per ticket.

But the online payment application constantly displayed a fault, so she could not pay. "After struggling for four hours and resorting to another bank, I successfully paid. At that time, the airfare increased to VND1.8 million. I had to pay an additional VND3.6 million for six tickets just because the banking applications were faulty," she said.

However, by having several bank accounts, Khanh was one of the lucky ones.

Hai Anh, a goods buyer in Hanoi, had to apologize to a shopkeeper and leave her phone number and a photo of her identity card as "evidence of trust" when she could not pay by bank transfer while cash was not available.

"The online banking application was not accessible, and there was no way to deposit in the e-wallet. All online transactions stopped," she said.

The interruption in online transactions was recorded by many banks on Friday.

From 8 a.m., Agribank’s online transaction application started to experience a slow response and users were unable to perform fast money transfers.

By early afternoon, many banks, including like TPBank and VPBank suffered a similar problem.

MoMo, the e-wallet application with the largest market share, said that on Friday that some banking partners were updating their internet banking systems, so it was difficult to transfer money.

The situation may have been caused by the sudden increase in bank transactions before the holiday.

A manager of TPBank said the transaction volume of the bank surged sharply ahead of the holiday. "TPBank has actively fixed and brought the application back to normal," the manager said on Friday evening.

A manager of VPBank said its online transaction system was interrupted for about an hour on Friday afternoon due to the high volume of transactions before the holiday.

"We then took technical measures to handle the interruption, bringing the system back to normal from 16:30 on the same day," the manager said.

Similarly, Agribank quickly overcame the congestion and brought the service back to stability from Friday afternoon.

Banks said they would keep their online banking services operating normally during the holiday period.

Vietnamese have a five-day holiday for the Hung King's Death Commemoration Day on April 29, Reunification Day on April 30 and Labor Day on May 1 and two days’ compensation since the holidays fall on a weekend.

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