CBA warns customers of systems upgrade

Unrelated to Telstra outage

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s online banking and CommBank app will be unavailable, or suffer limited functionality, from midnight tonight until 9am tomorrow due to a planned systems upgrade.

Customers won’t be able to transfer money, use Pay ID or check their balance, but will be able to use debit and credit cards in stores and to withdraw money from ATMs. However, lower transaction and withdrawal limits may apply.

The bank noted the unfortunate timing of the upgrade, hot on the heels of a major Telstra outage yesterday which affected EFTPOS terminals, connections to the New Payments Platform, ATM transactions and a range of online banking services.

CBA, ANZ, Westpac and NAB all confirmed they were affected by the outage. Telstra says it completed the full restoration of services early this morning.

CBA received “higher than normal calls into our call centre” as customers complained about the loss of services, which also included delays in receiving payments and processing them into accounts

“We understand the upgrade is happening soon after the telecommunications issue on Thursday, 11 July,” CBA said in a statement today.

“This planned upgrade is not related,” the bank said.

The bank confirmed to Computerworld that the upgrade was unrelated to a major relaunch of the CommBank app, revealed by the bank’s chief executive Matt Comyn in May.

The major redesign of the app will offer users “the first completely personalised and smart digital banking experience in Australia” backed by machine learning.

The refreshed design was in trials earlier this year and will be rolled out to all app users within the next few months.

“When you log into the app it will be personalised… and it will show on the home screen the most relevant thing for you,” Comyn told a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch.

The personalised experiences will remind users of upcoming credit card payments, show how spending compares to previous months and notify them of benefit they’re entitled to but not receiving.

“This year, the app will send over three billion personalised messages to customers by using 157 billion data points and 200 advanced machine learning models," CBA chief digital officer Pete Steel said at the time.

CBA’s app was launched in 2011. It has more than 5.3 million unique users, and more than 6.5 million log-ons per day.

Last month it was named by Forrester as Australia’s best banking app for the third year in a row.

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