Telstra has confirmed this afternoon that a machine-to-machine network is experiencing a nation-wide outage, which is affecting ATMs, EFTPOS terminals and more.
As of a short while ago, Telstra was still investigating, with a cause of the problem unknown, according to ABC News.
The outage is affecting national retailers such as Woolworths, which is unable to process EFTPOS payments at many of its stores. Service station chain Caltex has also confirmed an impact from the outage, meaning customers are being unable to pay for some purchases.
Tyro, which provides payment terminals to a range of retailers, has confirmed its services are impacted by Telstra’s outage:
Some debit card transactions are currently unavailable due to a connectivity issue. This is outside Tyro's control, we are monitoring the situation to ensure systems return to normal ASAP. Please ask customers for an another card payment option. For more: https://t.co/YGQp9dDClS
— Tyro (@Tyro) July 11, 2019
The Commonwealth Bank has confirmed that an issue with one of its telecommunication providers (known to be Telstra) has impacted its ATMs, EFTPOS terminals, some in-branch services and even logins to its CommSec product.
Westpac, ANZ and NAB have all confirmed that their EFTPOS terminals may be impacted as well. Australia Post, which handles a lot of agency banking services especially in less metropolitan areas has tweeted its own statement about the impact:
We're currently experiencing software issues in retail and urgently seeking a fix. EFT payments over $100 & Agency payments over $200, Bank@Post withdrawals, deposits and balance enquiries are affected. Commbank withdrawals under $100 and deposits of any kind are unaffected.
— Australia Post (@auspost) July 11, 2019
While the outage doesn’t appear to be affecting consumer and business mobile services, the impact on machine-to-machine services is likely to have an even more significant impact on Australian consumers.
Not being able to make or receive phone calls is one thing, but being unable to pay for purchases because payment networks are down is quite another.
Imagine pumping a tank full of petrol, only to find that your petrol station can’t process your card payment, and you don’t have any cash. Normally, you’d be asked to use the in-store ATM to get some cash out – if your local servo has one – but what if that ATM is also unavailable? This situation will be playing out in many local petrol stations this afternoon I’d suggest.
Telstra has been approached for further comment, but its latest update at 5.45pm is as follows:
“We are currently investigating an issue affecting data services, including EFTPOS and access to ATMS, for a number of enterprise customers nationally. Many of our services are starting to restore. We’re sorry for any issues caused and will provide an update when we know more”.
As of 6.45pm, it appears most services have been or are being restored with a Telstra spokesperson giving this update:
Most customer services have now been restored, and we’re working with our customers on the remaining few. We are continuing to monitor all services as this happens. We’re sorry for the impact and inconvenience caused.