Electronic payment system yet to be restored

The system collapsed on Tuesday before the countrywide strict lockdown began

Staff Correspondent

16 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Technical glitches in electronic payment system in Bangladesh have remained unresolved even two days after it collapsed.

Bangladesh Bank’s IT section has failed to restore the system, keeping the clearing of electronic payments and some other services in limbo.

The central bank’s IT system collapsed on Tuesday.

The IT team worked overnight on Tuesday after the collapse and continued doing so, officials said. When the report was being filed Thursday evening, the system remained unfixed.

A private commercial bank’s Head of IT Department told the daily sun on Thursday that an uncertainty shrouded the banks’ operation as the country was in lockdown.

The official said the central bank’s IT department might have tried to close some system as per the instructions due to the weeklong closure.

As the announcement was reversed that the banks will remain open during lockdown, the problem appeared, leading to the collapse of the system, the official apprehended.

 In the condition of anonymity, the official blamed the central bank’s IT team for this saga.

Bangladesh Bank’s spokesperson Md. Serajul Islam said the central bank’s IT team, in collaboration with other IT consultants, has been working day and night since Tuesday to resolve the glitch. He hoped the system would be restored soon. He, however, refused to comment about how the issue had unfolded. Serajul Islam said the BB has linked with the government’s ICT department, which is associated with some private vendors, and the problem might arise from this.

Wednesday was a public holiday on the occasion of Bangla New Year. Many banks were busy reversing their transactions made on Tuesday as the BB was yet to explain the banks what has exactly happened with its IT system.

The BB Payment System Department (PSD) sources confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the IT team was working, but yet to fix the problem and was totally unsure whether they would get any solutions on Thursday. Some bankers said the amount of cash withdrawal was three times higher on Tuesday than a normal day. Tuesday was the last working day before the strict lockdown when, Bangladesh Bank previously announced, the banks would also be closed.