Lloyds TSB has stated that the duplicate transactions problem that affected 200,000 customers this week related to a "systems error".
According to the BBC, more than 200,000 people using cards from various banks in shops were affected on New Year's Eve after a problem with a payment processing service provided to retailers by Lloyds TSB Cardnet.
In a statement, Lloyds TSB apologised to any individuals affected. "A technical error with our merchant system on 31 December resulted in the duplication of certain payments from cardholders to some merchants. Duplicated transactions have been reversed and cardholders are being reimbursed," said a Lloyds TSB spokesman.
"We will consider all reasonable and evidenced requests for reimbursement," the spokesman added.
Some affected individuals expressed anger on internet forums. A user on the MoneySavingExpert forum said, "I made a fairly big payment on 31 December (bought a secondhand car from a garage). I used my debit card and only this afternoon (five days later) found out that the payment went through twice, now I'm over my overdraft limit and can't withdraw any more cash. It would have been nice if Lloyds had gone public to save the embarrassment of having your cards frozen."
Lloyds TSB advised cardholders who believe they have been financially penalised by banks or card issuers as a result of duplicated transactions to contact the bank on 01268 567100 option 4.
Computer Weekly says...
Lloyds has said the problem relates to a "systems error". Given the timing, could those systems have suffered a date bug? In banking systems debit and credit transactions are monitored to avoid them getting lost and duplicated, using sophisticated transaction processing middleware.
Lloyds has not said how the problem occurred, but somehow transactions from 31 December were resubmitted the following week. Luckily for affected customers, the software is able to identify the duplicate transactions.