Customers of India's largest private sector bank raised an alarm on December 2 after being unable to access their accounts via mobile apps or online.
The management of HDFC Bank has blamed unanticipated volumes for malfunctioning of its online and mobile platforms in December. Customers of India’s largest private sector bank raised an alarm on December 2 after being unable to access their accounts via mobile apps or online. The bank’s management categorically denied any cyber attack.
The issue persisted for around three days and coincided with pay day. It prompted the central bank to send a team to the bank for identifying the reasons behind malfunctions. A similar incident had also occurred in December 2018. “We realised as a company, we have been victims of our own success. What one would have envisaged is that from a base level you normally size up for four-five times the capacity. We realise the volumes have gone even beyond the five times capacity that we had originally sized up. So, it is more of a capacity issue,” Sashidhar Jagdishan, executive director, HDFC Bank, recently told analysts on a conference call.
The bank is monitoring the situation “practically every minute” and has taken several measures to increase capacity and manage volumes better, Jagdishan said. “Post the second incident (December 2019), we have been able to segregate the paths and have de-risked the paths. We have been adding capacity, we hope to add more capacity, and we will be rationalising volumes. We have realised that sometimes it does not make sense to acquire some of the marginal volumes… We are in a good state at this juncture, we are far more comfortable. We have diverted a lot more traffic into multiple other channels and we hope to be even more comfortable in the next three-five months,” Jagdishan said.
On queries regarding whether it was a cyber attack, Jagdishan said, “ I can categorically say and we have said it to the regulator as well that there was no cyber attack or incidence on December 2.”