Banks see online banking outages as stimulus checks drop
Atlantic Union Bank, BB&T, SunTrust and others have reported issues.
Some of the top banks in Virginia in terms of 2019 deposits reported issues with customers being unable to access their online banking accounts Wednesday — the same day that millions of Americans expected to receive federal stimulus checks of at least $1,200 deposited into their accounts.
“Downtime for banking systems is so incredibly rare,” said Virginia Bankers Association President and CEO Bruce Whitehurst. “Banks are really good about keeping their customers up to date with exactly what’s going on any time they have downtime.”
Richmond-based Atlantic Union Bank first reported the outages Wednesday morning, and the bank encouraged customers to call their local branches or care center for assistance, but the bank reported Wednesday afternoon that number is also down.
“We recognize that this is frustrating given the increased reliance on digital channels during current events,” the bank tweeted.
I have called the 800 number and my local branch, both not equipped to answer the call, I'm hung up on one and subjected to a long useless message on the other…meanwhile, nothing….
— Always_Angela_S (@PastorSnead) April 15, 2020
When asked by a Twitter user when the issue would be resolved, Atlantic Union Bank responded that there was not an “estimated time of resolution.” With customer care center phone lines down — and some local branches — customers are expected to check the banks’ social media feeds for updates.
Some users are concerned about whether the online banking outages indicate a breach of security. “I hope our accounts haven’t been compromised,” an Atlantic Union Bank customer tweeted at the bank.
“This outage is not being caused by any type of security issue or breach,” Atlantic Union Bank said. “We are experiencing extremely high volume through all of our channels.”
Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T Corp. and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., now part of the recently merged Truist Financial Corp., also reported online banking and customer call center outages. Another big concern from bank users has been that the outages have occurred on a typical payday for people who are paid on the first and middle of the month.
Found that I couldn’t log in, checked Twitter and saw this…Thanks for keeping us informed! Paycheck day for many is a rough time for it to happen 😂
— Kelsey Seibert (@KelseyMSeibert) April 15, 2020
And not just are Truist’s customer care call centers down, but many branch numbers are as well.
It's not just mobile banking and 800#, the main online personal banking is also having 'issues'.
— Mike Smith (@MikeS_inFL) April 15, 2020
Although most banks have been reluctant to acknowledge the outages occurring on the same day as anticipated stimulus check deposits, Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank, which has also reported outages, said in a statement that the problem was the result of customers using online banking to look for their stimulus checks.
“Like other banks, PNC customers have experienced intermittent mobile and care center access today,” PNC said in a statement. “This is the result of an unprecedented volume of customers using these channels to check their accounts for Economic Impact Payments and other forms of financial hardship relief.”