Customers of a few banks are facing hardship and inconvenience due to the unavailability of various services, mainly at ATMs across the country.
Since yesterday, customers are facing issues getting services such as ATM, POS, fund transfer, and utility bill payments in the first week of the month amid the high demand for these services.
The disruption of services was reported because of the technical issues caused by the downtime of the services of the switch operator, 1LINK, as told by the banks to their customers.
Banks and back-end operators have been working to restore the services, but the customers at large are reporting inconveniences, including unavailable services, slow processing times, and long queues in front of functional ATMs.
As the number of banking customers is on the rise and the use of alternate banking channels is growing across the country, technical issues are observed every other day, not only due to issues with downtime of a link but also due to out-of-order ATMs and the inability to withdraw cash from ATMs.
These issues are inevitable in the banking system; however, banks should invest in these channels to improve the services that are getting worse instead. The quality of the services can be improved through the actions of the banking regulator, which penalizes these banks for providing poor-quality services and experiences to their customers.
The penalized action is the standard practice that can be seen in the telecom industry in the case of poor quality services to the customers. Even the banking regulator penalizes commercial banks for failing to comply with regulations. This action should also be taken to improve the customer service of banks in Pakistan.
This is to inform that 1LINK’s affected core switch services, which process OFFUS ATM cash withdrawals, OFFUS POS transactions, and Inter-Bank Funds Transfers (1IBFT), have been fully restored since last night and the system is functioning optimally.
The issue was caused primarily because of the technical malfunction between the communication of the database server with the application that serves as the core switch platform. 1LINK is undergoing a deep-seated root cause analysis with its technology solution providers to ensure future continuity without disruption.
While the settlement process takes time, 1LINK requests its members (banks) to keep the lines of communication open with 1LINK and revert if there is any issue in transaction processing. 1LINK has also identified certain processing issues with some of its members’ systems during this period, and 1LINK will take them up separately with them.
Despite the degradation in processing transactions, 1LINK continued to process transactions on the network of members (banks).