375 OCBC customers double-charged for bill payments on AXS; bank says glitch resolved
A glitch at OCBC Bank that resulted in double payments of bills via the AXS app and website last week has been resolved, and all customers have been refunded.
Customers who paid their bills using OCBC cards last Thursday (March 24) via the AXS mobile app m-Station and the Web-based AXS e-Station were charged twice.
AXS said there were 375 such cases and it was alerted to the issue when customers called in on Saturday (March 26).
One customer, who wrote to the media, said she made a bill payment of more than a thousand dollars on Thursday using the AXS mobile app.
Giving her name only as Ms Lee, she said she realised on Saturday that she had been charged double for that transaction and called the bank and AXS that same day.
She followed up with another call to OCBC on Monday.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, OCBC's head of cards business Vincent Tan said all duplicate transactions had been rectified by Monday.
The bank apologised for the inconvenience caused to affected customers.
An AXS spokesman told ST that AXS did not trigger the double deduction.
She said that AXS users are redirected to OCBC's payment gateway page to enter their card details.
"The user will actually complete the transaction on OCBC's payment gateway and then OCBC will return to us whether the transaction is successful or not successful," she added.
OCBC's Mr Tan said the error happened because its vendor that processes AXS payments on the bank's credit cards had a processing issue, resulting in duplicate transactions.
A similar incident in June last year resulted in DBS Bank customers being charged twice for transactions made on their debit and credit cards.
Mr Cyrus Daruwala, managing director of research and advisory firm IDC Financial Insights, said graph technology, which is still nascent, can help prevent such issues.
The technology analyses data in a system and flags instances where the exact same amount is charged by the same merchant, at the same time. Both transactions will then be stopped, he said.
He noted that some companies in Singapore and Asia such as DBS and AIA Vitality are using this technology, and "it is a matter of time that it will become mainstay technology".
This recent payment glitch is unrelated to the phishing scams that targeted OCBC customers last December, where victims lost $13.7 million. About $2 million has been recovered so far.