Human error cause of major Nets service disruption on Feb 2

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It was human error during maintenance works that caused the islandwide Nets service disruption on Feb 2, and not any systemic risk or security issues, the e-payment giant said yesterday.

"We have completed investigations into the cause of the incident and concluded that the incident resulted from an inadvertent human error during system maintenance, which disrupted Nets EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale) connection to our participating banks," it said.

Nets said such an error should not have occurred and apologised for the disruption.

It had informed consumers about the hour-long outage in a Facebook post at 2.27pm that day.Services were restored at 3pm and have been functioning normally since.

Following the incident, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement saying it takes a serious view of all incidents affecting the availability of critical payment systems, such as the EFTPOS services operated by Nets.

MAS instructed Nets to submit a thorough investigation report to the authority. It added that, after a review, supervisory action may be taken, if necessary.

Nets said yesterday it has submitted the investigation report. It has also engaged an independent consultant to validate and further enhance its processes to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

Owned by DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank, Nets runs the country's most ubiquitous and oldest system, dubbed EFTPOS. This 30-year-old cashless payment scheme lets consumers use their ATM cards for direct deductions from their bank accounts at some 100,000 acceptance points islandwide.