Skip to main content

Twitter storm brews as RBS, Barclays, Natwest and Santander banking apps crash

A rather large spanner has been thrown in the works of end-of-the month euphoria. RBS, Barclays and Santander customers have all been unable to access their bank accounts on the busiest banking day of the month: pay day.

Thousands of customers from some of the UK's biggest banks have all been experiencing problems using their mobile banking facilities due to "high traffic" on pay day. Since 9am this morning, frustrated users have been unable to access their accounts via their phones to process payments.

"Why won't my Barclays app work?" complained @Nalizee via Twitter "Telling me to check my internet when it's perfectly fine." Their voice added to a cacophony of online confusion as the social media site erupted with calls for a swift resolution.

"High demand for banking services on payday should be a predictable scenario for a bank," Michael Allen, Director of APM at Compuware commented. "Today's customers expect 24/7 availability, and failure to meet these expectations results in very public condemnation - as we can see from the flurry of angry Tweets.

"The fact that Barclays, RBS and Santander are all experiencing problems shows this isn't an isolated problem, but one the industry as a whole is facing. As banks increasingly integrate new technologies into their legacy systems it certainly creates an added layer of complexity, but this is not an excuse for slow systems or poor user experience. For customer loyalty and satisfaction to grow, IT must act before business suffers and customers are affected. Banks need to get a handle on this situation; otherwise, we will see more failures and more unhappy customers."

As far as we can tell, at the time of publication Natwest and RBS are up and running but the other banks are still battling to return to normal service.

Natwest tweeted: "If you're having difficulty with our mobile app, online banking, telephone banking and ATMs are all working normally." It's not enough for a disgruntled Barclays customer however, who tweeted angrily "Could the @Barclays mobile banking app have any more problems? Telling me to check my 3G signal whilst I'm using WiFi."

A spokesman for NatWest said: "Over 5,500 customers are logging on every minute. Unfortunately some customers are not able to successfully log in due to the high traffic. We are working to urgently address this problem and apologise to those affected."

The timing, however, could not have been worse. Not only does the crash fall on pay day, but it also coincides with the end of one of the most important weeks in the mobile technology calender: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (opens in new tab).

In a period where the world's eyes are turned to mobile, celebrating the most innovative handsets and ground breaking trends in the industry, an issue such as this can easily cast a shadow of doubt: how ready are we really to turn our mobiles from mere communicative devices to centralised tools that organise every aspect of our lives?

Have you been affected by the crash? Let us know in the comment section below.

Alysia is a multi-talented freelance filmmaker, presenter, and writer. She's worked with and created content for Netflix UK, IGN, BAFTA, the Guardian, the BBC, and has written for sites like IT Pro Portal GamesRadar, IGN, and more. She also works with UK gaming body, UKIE.