RBI has sought details behind the data centre outage that meant services on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), ATMs and card channels were unavailable for several hours.
New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reportedly sought an explanation from private sector lender HDFC Bank after its digital services did not function from Saturday evening to early Sunday morning leading to inconvenience for its customers. This is the third disruption of digital services that HDFC Bank customers have faced in the past two years, causing many of them to vent on social media.
According to a report in the Economic Times, RBI has sought details behind the data centre outage that meant services on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), ATMs and card channels were unavailable for several hours.
“The regulator has sought details and the reasons behind the data centre outage. Depending on the report submitted by the bank, an internal RBI team will examine it and take further steps,” the publication quoted one of the persons as saying. “The concern especially is that three big system blackouts happened within two years despite the bank saying last time it had updated its processes and systems.”
Both HDFC Bank and RBI didn’t respond to ET’s queries.
RBI team likely to visit HDFC Bankt data centre to examine issue
The bank tweeted that services had been restored but customers could still face “intermittent issues as the system stabilises.”
In December last year, the RBI had said a team of experts was examining the breakdown of HDFC Bank’s digital banking channels that occurred early that month, causing millions of customers to be locked out of their net and mobile banking accounts for over 48 hours.
The bank had faced a similar outage on its mobile application in 2018, while launching a new version.
“Most likely an RBI team could also visit the data centre and examine what went wrong, and then suggest measures to be taken,” the publication quoted an official as saying. “It’s quite surprising that a bank of this size is facing such regular outages.”
The business daily citing one of the sources said that HDFC Bank had told payment industry partners that the issue pertained to a power outage at one of its major data centres. “If true, it begs to be asked why a bank the size of HDFC doesn’t have a backup power source?” the person said.
As of September 30, the bank had 15,292 ATMs in 2,848 cities. Its customers have 14.9 million credit cards and 33.8 million debit cards, according to RBI data, making it one of the largest transaction banks in the country.
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