Bank IT systems under constant pressure


Bank IT systems under constant pressure

Karl Flinders

Technology has made banking services more available and raised the expectations of customers, according to the British Banking Association.

The British Banking Association (BBA) revealed the scale of IT-reliant services used by conusumers in its annual review of statistics.

The BBA figures said 40,000 people check their balance or statement through online bank accounts every ten minutes, in its 25th annual Abstract of Banking Statistics for 2007. It also revealed 3,700 people pay bills online and UK bank IT systems clear 260,000 payments made by cheque, automated and plastic card payments.

A spokesman at the BBA said customers expect more from banks as a result of technology and banks are investing in systems to satisfy this demand.

"The expectation of customers today is for 24-hour services from banks, which includes online banking and ATMs," he said.

"Banks have invested and continue to invest heavily in technology which can deliver services around the clock immediately to their customers," he added.

240,000 UK citizens access online bank accounts every hour and this number increases massively during peak times.

Chris Skinner, CEO at financial services think tank Balatro, said banks are very exposed to damage to their reputations when things go wrong. "There have been a few instances when one server has gone down on an ATM network and people have not been able to access cash."

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