Banking app warning with 5 steps to avoid chaos if sites crash | Personal Finance | Finance

When four major banks, including HSBC, Nationwide, Barclays and Virgin Money, experienced payment issues on Friday June 28, customers were left in the lurch.

The technical glitch disrupted critical banking operations such as bill payments on the last working day of the month. Due to the malfunction, payments were either delayed or couldn’t be completed, leaving some bills unpaid and some salaries unreceived.

Although Pay UK, the group overseeing the faulty system, quickly rectified the issue, the impact was severe for some.

One disgruntled customer lamented on X: “My bills are bouncing and I can’t pay for a train ticket I need in the next hour.”

While many Brits rely heavily on internet banking, apps and smart wallets for their daily transactions, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure life continues as normally as possible during a technological failure.

Andrew Hagger, founder of MoneyComms, pointed out that sometimes the problem can be isolated to a single app, website or ATM. In these cases, customers can simply switch to a different service outlet.

However, he acknowledged that a “full-blown outage” affects everything but is rarer as banks have “IT disaster recovery plans” in place to minimise disruption for their customers.

The expert advised This Is Money readers to open a secondary bank account with online access, stressing that a “huge balance” isn’t necessary, just sufficient funds for timely payments.

Additionally, the specialist pointed out that maintaining a cash reserve is an effective strategy to avoid being left in the lurch if your banking app fails.

While it may not cover large bills or direct debits, it can assist with minor expenses such as groceries and transport fares.

It’s also wise to document any complaints regarding bank outages, as keeping a detailed paper trail could be crucial when escalating issues to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Moreover, by tracking the patterns of these disruptions, customers might identify specific times when problems are more likely to occur, often coinciding with peak usage periods like payday.

Echoing advice championed by money-saving guru Martin Lewis, switching current accounts could bring a windfall of cash incentives and perks. More importantly, if frequent outages are affecting your finances, moving to a bank with a more reliable IT system could prove significantly beneficial.

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