The nationwide outage affected merchants and banks.
A nationwide Telstra network outage starting Friday left merchants unable to use their electronic funds transfer terminals for sales transactions, and bank customers unable to withdraw cash from automated teller machines.
Telstra Enterprise said on social media that the fault is within its machine-to-machine (M2M) data services network, with EFTPOS terminals and ATMs being affected.
At 8.40am on Saturday morning, Telstra Enterprise said the telco's engineers were re-establishing connectivity for the M2M network, but some devices continue to be impacted.
The outage has been blamed on faulty vendor equipment that had since been replaced. Telstra did not say what the equipment was, or name the vendor in question.
The outgage and its timing is certain to draw the attention of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) which in July warned it was looking at resilience in the payments systems as concern.
“These sorts of outages disrupt commerce and erode trust of consumers in payment systems,” the RBA’s Assistant Governor for Financial Systems, Michelle Bullock said at the time.
“Regulators are therefore starting to focus on the operational risks associated with retail payment systems and whether the operators and the participants are meeting appropriately high standards of resilience.”
“These sorts of outages disrupt commerce and erode trust of consumers in payment systems,” Bullock told the Bund Summit on Fintech.
Bullock's comments appear prescient as Telstra and financial institutions tried to hose down consumer and merchant anger.
ANZ confirmed that the outage had hit its merchants whose terminals are connected to Telstra's 3G network.
Hi Roy, we have been advised that there is a nationwide Telstra outage which is affecting terminals using Telstra 3G. We are working with Telstra on a resolution but at this stage we do not know when it will be resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. ^AP— ANZ Australia (@ANZ_AU) November 2, 2018
Taxis were unable to accept card payments for fares, and resorted to asking passengers to pay cash instead.
All passengers arriving at Sydney International airport this morning are told while waiting in the taxi queue that all taxis are “cash only” this morning. “Something, something, @Telstra, something, something”. I’m sure there’s a good reason for having such an unreliable system.— Stuart Khan (@stukhan) November 2, 2018
Telstra's latest outage follows a major cloud service disruption three days ago that disconnected enterprise users and downed the telco's main website.