Major ATM problems have hit the major banks.
Legacy systems and poor architecture are putting more and more pressure on the banks IT systems.
On New Year‘s Eve, many customers of Lloyds and the Halifax could not get their money out of their accounts via the ATMs.
Lloyds claim that the problem only lasted for about an hour. However, many people claim that it ruined their New Year celebrations when they were without cash. Yet others said they were stranded away from home without money.
Legacy Systems Problems
Many of these transaction processing banking systems were written decades ago in languages like Cobol, PL/I and RPG and are now creaking.
Another problem is that, although these were core skills a few decades ago, there are now few people left with them.
Compounding the problem is that new systems have been written along the way. However, without getting the basic architecture right and with the same data appearing on many different systems they can get out of sync.
When someone takes money out of an ATM machine up to a couple of dozen systems and databases may need updated.
The problems at RBS, Nat West and Ulster Bank in the summer completely ruined many a holiday. The pressure is now on the big banks to rewrite those old systems. They should start from scratch as regards their architecture.
This will take a lot of money but it needs doing sometime. The problem is that these old legacy systems create problems which are becoming more regular.
80% of the money spent on a system is in its maintenance. So, the banks could probably get more than their money back over a few years if they rewrote their systems from scratch. They should start with getting the architecture right.
Of course, all this is good news for those who work in the industry. It’s especially good for IT Contractors who tend to get taken on for temporary work uploads.
Perhaps the next couple of years could be boom years after all with all the ATM problems.