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Absa customers stranded as system goes offline

07 April 2018 - 14:34 By Katharine Child
Absa Bank is one of the big five banks in South Africa. File photo
Absa Bank is one of the big five banks in South Africa. File photo
Image: File Photo

Update 4:47pm : Absa’s system went back online on Saturday afternoon and customers were able to use cards and ATMs and online banking again. 

Customers of Absa are furious as hundreds of consumers were unable to pay for shopping‚ petrol or at restaurants as their Absa cards failed to work after lunch time on Saturday.

“This is embarrassing” was a frequent refrain of customers who were stranded at restaurants and petrol stations unable to pay their bills.

Many complained that they received no information from Absa to warn them they would be unable to use their debit or credit cards.

Gaynor Janeke tweeted that it was her birthday and she spent a wonderful morning at a spa but then couldn’t pay her bill.

She said she was “Totally embarrassed. Had to call my husband who luckily banks at another bank. This is the second time this month. All thanks to ABSA! You should consider informing your clients about your technical difficulties."

One person said he was stuck at a Gautrain station because he couldn’t pay for a ticket.

Following an hour of tweets from people who couldn’t buy food‚ or were stuck at petrol stations‚ Absa finally responded on Twitter to say it was facing technical difficulties.

On its official Absa Twitter account the bank tweeted: “We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties. Our teams are working on it. We apologise for the inconvenience. Updates to follow shortly.”

Some were furious with the response.

Efforts to contact ABSA were unsuccessful.