x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Nationwide crash of ATMs slows shoppers

All cash machines across the country were disabled for almost an hour yesterday and services were intermittent for an additional hour.

ABU DHABI // All cash machines across the country were disabled for almost an hour yesterday and services were intermittent for an additional hour, leaving shoppers inconvenienced and confused. An error in the computerised network which handles all automated teller machine (ATM) transactions nationwide shut them down at 11am. Mazin Khalfan, 59, a procurement manager, was shopping with his wife when the crash occurred. "We had problems at the supermarket because we couldn't get any money out and there was a long line of people," he said. "Thankfully, we used our credit card." The Central Bank said the problem was due to an error in the UAESwitch system, which was fixed after 45 minutes. By 1pm all services had returned to normal. UAESwitch is the electronic system that banks use to share information on ATMs. It connects all ATMs in the UAE as well as in the five other GCC countries. There were not thought to be any lasting implications from the temporary error. A spokesman for HSBC said the fault was not connected to last week's shutdown of that bank's ATMs. aseaman@thenational.ae