Thousands of HSBC customers have complained on social media about issues with mobile and online banking services. More than 2,000 customers have complained about the outage that prevented them from accessing their bank accounts, making payments, and more.
The problem appears to be affecting customers across the UK as well as mainland Europe. HSBC’s mobile banking app, available on Android and iPhone, enables customers to check their account balance, transfer funds, make payments, schedule standing orders, and much more. While a large number of people have complained about mobile banking, others have had the same headaches with HSBC’s online banking portal, which offers the same services through a web browser.
And it’s not just HSBC either. A number of other high street banks, including Lloyds, Halifax, Barclays, TSB, and more, have also gone offline.
HSBC has not disclosed the cause of the problem. DownDetector, an independent website that tracks online application performance based on public complaints on social media, has affected more than 2,000 HSBC customers in the past few minutes alone.
It seems that the Akamai DNS service may be behind the current problems that have impacted such a wide range of businesses and services. Akamai provides critical infrastructure for a number of these services and has confirmed that there are some issues with its service.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed until Akamai confirms that it is behind the problems. However, given that some of the global brands of the recent failure are listed on the Akamai website customer page, it seems very likely.
For those who don’t know, DNS is an essential infrastructure for the web. The first thing that happens when you type a URL into your web browser’s address bar – such as express.co.uk – is that the web domain is translated to an IP address that your computer understands – like 192.168.1.1 . To translate the user-friendly web address you wrote into the computer-literate IP address, your computer uses DNS.
This works like a giant phone book telling your browser which IP address to load in order to take you to the website you want. Having the DNS offline would explain why users’ computers could not load web pages and indicate that users were offline – when they were not.
Fortunately, Akamai says it has now implemented a fix and expects “normal operations” to resume soon. However, she warns against continuing to monitor the situation.