National Australia Bank and Australia Post’s SecurePay service have come under fire from disgruntled small business owners this week after a series of glitches resulted in some online retailers not being able to log in to their secure payments provider.
Small businesses have taken to NAB’s Facebook page since Monday to express their outrage at the error with NAB Transact, claiming they were having trouble processing credit card transactions.
“You better waive my fees for Transact this month,” one woman wrote.
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“As a small business, this is wasting my time.”
Another small business owner lashed out at the bank, saying he had switched to PayPal in order to process online payments because of the issues.
“It was simple – just swap to PayPal and bingo! All fixed,” he wrote.
“Now we just need to finalise the movement of all our other banking away from NAB and we can all put this behind us.”
NAB said in a statement those affected should contact its support service if they are still experiencing issues.
“We are seeing improvements with the NAB Transact service, however, if you are still experiencing log-in issues, time-outs and or slow performance, please contact us,” the bank said.
“Our teams are continuing to implement key improvements involving the web payment servers used for the NAB Transact Platform. NAB has been working closely with SecurePay, our secure payments provider, to understand the underlying issues that have caused disruption to NAB Transact customers. The root cause is still under investigation.”
Australia Post’s SecurePay service said in a statement it completed an upgrade at the start of the month, which may have triggered the glitches in some cases.
“We unreservedly apologise to those customers who could not access the system,” SecurePay said.
“We remain committed to supporting NAB and its customers.”
But Paul Greenberg, executive chairman of the National Online Retailers’ Association, told SmartCompany payment glitches and outages are unfortunately “all too common” and a massive issue for the online retail sector as a whole.
“Tech glitches at some level are part of the landscape,” Greenberg says.
“If we go back over the last three, four years everyone’s had a little bit of a tough run. But I think in the spirit of continuous improvement and e-retailers raising the bar, I’m feeling a renewed industry vigour trying to sort out the cause not the symptom. And that cause in my view is there are disparate tech standards – it’s very fragmented. Everyone’s kind of doing their own thing.”
Greenberg says the “first initial steps” are being taken towards forming an industry-wide standard despite the challenges of a fragmented landscape.
On June 11 NORA and eBay will host a meeting in order to thrash out this very issue, with 30 participants so far signing up to take part in the discussion.
“It’s no good saying I’m OK, you’re not,” Greenberg says.
“As an industry, this does nobody good. So I have enormous sympathy for merchants who were affected by the NAB and SecurePay outage and more sympathy for the customers – because it stings. But the industry needs to respond holistically.”