AIB to refund customers after IT glitch

AIB is the latest Irish bank to be hit with a technical problem with up to 80,000 customers affected by a glitch with its point-of-sale terminals.

The bank said it became aware on Wednesday that some customers who used their cards at AIB Merchant Services (AIBMS) point-of- sale terminals on Jan 14, may have been debited twice for the transaction. The merchants in question were also credited twice for these transactions.

“AIBMS transactions are processed by First Data Inc and this error in posting was as a result of a technical issue in First Data’s processing facility in Germany,” said AIB in a statement.

“The technical issue has been resolved and AIBMS are working to ensure that affected customers are reimbursed promptly.”

AIB said it had created a file on Thursday of all the card transactions affected by the technical problems and planned to start reimbursing customer accounts from yesterday. It is not known how much was involved.

“AIBMS apologises sincerely for any inconvenience caused and assures customers that resolution of the issue has been a key priority,” the bank said.

AIBMS is a joint venture between AIB and First Data Corporation — a provider of international electronic commerce and payment services.

In a statement, First Data said: “On Jan 15, First Data learned that a telecommunication fault led to a file containing transactions accepted by merchants of AIB Merchant Services missing the deadline for transmission to Visa Europe for processing.

“Corrective measures to resolve this issue led to a follow-on file error, which affected some transactions on international card schemes and merchant settlement values.

“As a result, a number of cardholders were debited twice for transactions. First Data apologises for any inconvenience to cardholders or merchants and is taking immediate action to process reversal transactions. These reversal transactions are expected to be processed on Jan 18.

“If cardholders suspect they have been affected, they should contact the bank that issued their card.”

In May 2011, AIB had to pay out €8m to customers who made withdrawals from ATMs but did not receive cash, after their accounts were debited anyway. The erroneous debits happened over a seven-year-period from 2003 to 2010 before it was uncovered.

Last summer, a major glitch at Ulster Bank caused severe disruption to its banking services for a month. The issue originated at Ulster Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland. Ulster Bank had to pay out roughly €50m in compensation to its 600,000 customers.

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