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System update leaves some ATMs on the blink

System update leaves some ATMs on the blink. (EB FILE)

By VM Sathish

Some banks in the UAE yesterday said their ATMs may not have been working over the past three days due to system upgrades.

Customers of other banks, including Emirates NBD, experienced trouble with ATM transactions over the past three days. The bank has been upgrading security features and recently urged customers not to respond to e-mails supposedly sent by the IT department asking for their bank details.

In a message to customers, it said: "Please do not click on or respond to e-mails asking for account, credit card or internet banking details. Emirates NBD never asks customers to give such details."

The bank has urged customers to report any such cases. It declined to respond to a request from this paper for information about the ATM glitches that affected many customers.

Many banks had problems with the ATM network on Saturday morning, but banks said they did not receive many calls regarding malfunctioning of machines.

The Central Bank confirmed that all ATM machines in the country shut down for an hour due to a technical problem at UAE Switch, the ATM network.

Customers who have experienced problems while using ATMs in the Northern Emirates have blamed the heavy rain – but the banks insisted the downpour has not affected the network.

Instead banks said the difficulties could be the result of newly introduced enhanced security measures.

Many parts of Sharjah have been hit by power failures due to water interfering with underground electrical cables. "The rain has not disrupted any of our ATMs, including machines in Sharjah and Ajman, the two emirates worst hit by the rain and flooding," a senior manager for electronic channels at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi told Emirates Business. "The bank has one of the largest ATM networks in the UAE, including more than 20 ATMs in Sharjah.

"The bank has more than a dozen machines in the flood-hit industrial areas of Sharjah and Al Nahda – they are sited at Emarat and Enoc petrol stations and even at some of the labour camps. In Ajman, the bank has five ATMs."

Other banks such as Dubai Bank have been advising customers about information security and the need to avoid replying to e-mails that look like official e-mails from the bank.

A Dubai Bank source said: "We had some complaints on Saturday morning but the problems have been rectified now. It has more to do with network problems than the rainfall."


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