Engineers are investigating a banking glitch that triggered a total shutdown of billions upon billions of dollars in bank transfers in Japan.
The glitch began on Tuesday, leaving more than one million customers unable to move their money and affecting banking giants including JPMorgan Chase, MUFG and Mitsubishi Trust.
An interbank communication system called Zengin was at the core of the failure as banks scrambled to process transactions with a backup system.
Japan’s biggest bank, MUFG, said transfers to other banks initiated online and at ATMs and convenience stores were denied as Zengin worked to identify the cause of the issue and recalibrate the system.
Zengin says it’s now focused on ensuring such widespread failures don’t happen again.
“Given the significant impact this incident has had on our customers, we will promptly investigate the cause and develop measures to prevent it from happening again.”
It’s not the first time people and businesses have been walled off from transferring their funds.
In October of 2020, the real-time gross settlement system for the Euro known as TARGET2 sputtered, with several European banks unable to process cross-border Euro transfers.
And in July of 2018, the UK’s Faster Payments Service, which facilitates real-time payments between banks, suffered an outage that hit customers at HSBC, Barclays, and Lloyds.
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