Tuesday wasn't a very pleasant day for most of the HDFC Bank customers across India. A technical snag in one of the system applications crippled the retail services of the bank including Net Banking and ATMs. They heaved a sigh of relief when operations resumed to normal today.
The technical glitch particularly hurt those with corporate salary accounts. Many people complained that their pay hadn't been credited into their accounts.
Long queues formed outside ATMs leaving stunned customers scrambling for cash at the start of the month. There were reports that debit cards couldn't be used at merchant establishments after they had been swiped for Rs 5,000 at ATMs leading one to ponder that either there was a shortage of cash in their account or the ATM itself had run out of money.
"The bank had experienced a technical problem yesterday in one of its system applications catering to its retail customers, affecting certain services. The bank's other systems like corporate banking, depository, treasury, credit cards etc, however, functioned normally," said Mr. Neeraj Jha, Head, Corporate Communications, HDFC Bank.
"The bank deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to its customers, if any.", he added.
Dhiman Pal, a resident of Behala, said: "I had to settle a hospital bill. I went to withdraw Rs 15,000 from the ATM at No. 14 bus stand. I couldn't do so and had to settle the bill with my credit card."
Officials said the bank had permitted withdrawal of a maximum of Rs 5,000 per account, either from a bank branch or from an ATM, to alleviate the problems of customers. However, they were asked to produce photo identity cards at a branch to withdraw Rs 5,000.
"This is an offline mode. While giving money, we usually check the photo and signature of a customer online. But we could not do it today. So we asked for a photo-identity card of the customer," Hegde said.
HDFC Bank has a nation-wide network of 1,229 branches and 2,526 ATMs spread in 444 towns and cities. It has over 12 million retail customers.
This was the first time that such a technical fault had affected retail customers of a bank on such a large scale.