HSBC DOWN: customers unable to use mobile banking app in new UK outage

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Thousands of HSBC customers have taken to social media to complain about issues with mobile and online banking services. More than 2,000 customers have complained about the outage, which has blocked them from accessing their bank accounts, making payments, and more.

The problem seems to impact customers across the UK, as well as mainland Europe. The HSBC mobile banking app, which is available on Android and iPhone, allows customers to check their balance, transfer money, make payments, schedule standing orders, and more. While a huge number of people have voiced complaints about mobile banking, others have come across the same headache with HSBC’s online banking portal, which offers the same services via a web browser.

And it’s not just HSBC either. A number of other high street banks, including Lloyds, Halifax, Barclays, TSB, and more have also gone offline.

HSBC has not revealed the cause of the problem. According to independent website DownDetector, which tracks the performance of online applications using public complaints on social media, more than 2,000 HSBC customers have been impacted in the last few minutes alone.

It seems that DNS service Akamai could be behind the current issues, which have impacted such a wide range of companies and services. Akamai provides crucial infrastructure for a number of these services and it has confirmed that it’s experiencing some problems with its service.

Of course, until Akamai confirms that it is behind the problems, nothing is guaranteed. However, given that some of the worldwide brands included in the latest outage are featured on the customers page on the Akamai website… it seems quite likely.

For those who don’t know, a DNS is an essential infrastructure for the web. The first thing that happens when you type a URL into your web browsers’ address bar – like express.co.uk, for example – is the web domain is translated into an IP address that your computer understands – something like 192.168.1.1. To translate the human-friendly web address you’ve written into the computer-literate IP address, your machine will use a DNS.

This acts like an enormous phonebook that tells your browser what IP address it needs to load to take you to the website you’re looking for. If the DNS is offline, it would explain why users’ computers were unable to load webpages and were showing that users were offline – when they weren’t.

Thankfully, Akamai says it has now implemented a fix and expects “normal operations” to resume soon. However, it cautions that it’s continuing to monitor the situation.

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