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Australia banks, shops getting back online after service outage

Australia banks, shops getting back online after service outage

A customer pays with a contactless credit card at a store in Paris, France, April 11, 2016. (File Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

SYDNEY: Australian banks and retailers were getting back online on Thursday (Jul 11) after a nationwide telecoms outage knocked out electronic payment systems and cash machines for several hours.

Telstra, the country's biggest telecoms provider, said service was being restored to a number of large customers but did not give details about the nature of the problem. 

Australia's four major banks had said some of their transaction-handling machines in stores were not working early on Thursday afternoon. Retailers and a state ambulance service also reported service disruptions.

"Good news. Many of our services are starting to restore. We'll provide another update when we know more," Telstra said in a post on social media.

Telstra is regarded as Australia's premium communications provider, but has been embarrassed in the past by service outages. In 2016, customers suffered six internet or telecoms outages.

Westpac Banking Corporation said on Twitter that some automatic teller machines in Sydney were down, while National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia also reported payment processing issues.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group also said some of its point-of-sale payment machines weren't working.

The nation's biggest grocer, Woolworths Group, said cashiers were processing transactions manually.

A Reuters reporter at one supermarket in Sydney said the problem caused havoc as automated checkouts - which account for most checkouts at many stores - were shut down and staff checked customers' signatures to process card payments.

The banks said that Internet banking systems remained operational and that the outages were uneven.

The New South Wales ambulance service said there have been no interruptions to emergency services while it works with Telstra to resolve technical issues.

Source: Reuters/nr

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