Even as banks pride themselves on offering digital services to customers these are often marred by outages.

Glitches in mobile and Internet banking have become a common occurrence for customers, and there are frequent complaints on social media that they are unable to log into their accounts or make transactions.

According to outage monitoring website DownDetector, customers of almost all banks have reported problems in Internet and mobile banking at some point of time.

The data reveal that outages are common in the case of both public and private sector lenders and are not just limited to large banks like State Bank of India and HDFC Bank.

Growth in payments

Mobile and Internet-based payments have registered a sharp growth in the last one year even though they are still far behind the more popular means like UPI.

Data from the Reserve Bank of India reveal that mobile payments grew by 170 per cent in value terms to ₹9,82,360 crore in April 2021 versus ₹31,80,133 crore in April 2020. Internet payments also shot up by 41.6 per cent in the period.

Not surprisingly, bankers say that outages are often common at the start of the month or during e-commerce sales when a number of users try and make payments.

Experts point out that outages are common across platforms ranging from Google to Facebook and Azure and are not just limited to mobile and Internet banking facilities.

“With regard to banks and their digital infrastructure, one main challenge is that they have been built on legacy architecture which don’t scale well with the new digital consumer.

“A lot of them were based on security as the main principle versus scale. Money and capital is not an issue for banks for investing in technology, it is more a vacuum of vision and decision making. Many banks are still not keen on migrating to cloud,” said Arpit Ratan, co-founder of Signzy, a no-code AI platform for financial institutions.

He, however, believes that in terms of dealing with volumes, domestic private banks are amongst the best placed in the world.

 

Improving services

Previously, in December 2020, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had also urged banks and financial institutions to invest more in technology and IT systems to remain competitive.

Banks too are trying to improve their services as they compete with fintechs and neo banks. HDFC Bank is in the eye of a storm with several outages in its mobile and Internet banking leading to the Reserve Bank of India putting a temporary halt on its sourcing of new credit card customers and digital launches.

The bank is now setting up a Digital Factory and an Enterprise Factory to roll-out new digital products and services in the future and augment its IT Infrastructure.

Similarly, Axis Bank too is working to enhance its digital banking facilities, for which it has selected Amazon Web Services.