Online glitch at Indian bank HDFC hits business for third day

Photographer: Dhiraj SIngh/Bloomberg

A prolonged glitch at HDFC Bank Ltd., an Indian lender well known for its digital services, could erode trust and hurt business as clients struggle to perform basic transactions.

An unknown number of the Mumbai-based lender’s 49 million customers have been locked out of its online banking platform for the past three days, prompting dozens to vent their anger on social media.

An HDFC Bank spokesman declined to comment on the reason for the outage or say when it would be fixed, beyond what the company was telling customers on Twitter.

The error has prevented some account holders from making loan and salary payments, according to complaints on the bank’s Twitter handle. Almost 90% of the lender’s transactions are digital.

“HDFC Bank management should address these glitches in minutes rather than hours as banking is now technology-dependent and a huge client base gets impacted,” said Kranthi Bathini, an analyst at Wealthmills Securities.

HDFC Bank, which was awarded the best digital bank in India in 2019 by Asiamoney, says in its most recent annual report that building digital capabilities is a priority for the lender, which is one of the nation’s largest facilitators of cashless payments.

It’s not the first time the private-sector bank has faced such an issue. When it launched a renewed version of its mobile banking application a year ago, customers struggled to log in, according to BloombergQuint. That forced the bank to withdraw the new app and restore the old version.

— Suvashree Ghosh (Bloomberg)