Which bank has the most scheduled online banking outages?

Tim Falk 19 October 2016

scheduled outages feature image

Three of Australia’s “Big Four” banks lead the way in a race no-one wants to win.

If you want a reliable online banking service that’s always available when you need it, you may be better off looking further afield than the “Big Four” banks. According to a recent finder.com.au survey, three out of the “Big Four” have more scheduled online banking outages than any other major financial institution. ANZ was the worst performer, with nine services outages across a recent 15-week period. Commonwealth Bank and NAB were hot on its heels, finishing with eight and seven outages respectively during the same period, while Westpac filled sixth position with five outages. These results paint an interesting picture about the quality and reliability of online banking services available to Australian consumers, so let’s take a closer look at what the results mean for you.

The methodology

How did we monitor the online banking outages of Australia’s major banks across a 15-week period? First, we made a list of Australia’s 26 biggest financial institutions based on their asset size, then we monitored each bank’s Twitter feed on a weekly basis from 14 June to 28 September 2016. We also made note of the last three scheduled outages that occurred before the survey period began, before recording any scheduled outages that were announced on each bank’s Twitter feed from 14 June onwards. The full results of the survey are shown below.

The results

The list below features the top four scheduled online banking outages reported by Australia’s 26 largest banks during the survey period. A service outage is when a bank’s online banking portal is down for maintenance or due to a technical fault. Customers are unable to login to their Internet banking and check balances, transfer funds and manage their accounts during an outage, and most outages will also restrict your ability to access your accounts via mobile banking. Check out where your bank sits on the table to find out how reliable its online banking service is – the reliability of this service could be an important factor when comparing financial institutions and the accounts they offer. However, it’s worth pointing out that nine of the banks surveyed did not report any outages during the period of study. Rather than meaning that these banks are the most reliable online banking providers in Australia, this could simply reflect the fact that these institutions don’t announce scheduled outages on their Twitter feeds. It’s also important to remember that these are scheduled outages, so the banks were likely performing security upgrades and enhancements. It’s nice of them to schedule these at night where the least amount of people are affected.

Recorded outages

Note: all times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

ANZ

  • 12am - 6am on 11 Sep 2016
  • 12am - 6am on 5 Sep 2016
  • 11pm - 6am on 25 Aug 2016
  • 12am - 6am on 13 Aug 2016
  • 9:30pm - 5am on 5 Aug 2016
  • 12am - 8am on 11 Jun 2016
  • 1am - 5:30am on 12 Jun 2016
  • 12:30am - 5:30am on 13 Mar 2016
  • 2am - 7:40am on 22 Feb 2016
  • 1am - 5am on 13 Feb 2016

CommBank

  • 1am - 6:30am on 19 Aug 2016
  • 1:53am - 2:30am on 1 Aug 2016
  • 12:30am - 7am on 22 Jul 2015
  • 1am - 5am on 9 Jul 2015
  • 12am - 6am on 11 Jun 2016
  • 2:20am - 6am on 29 May 2016
  • 12:50am - 9:30am on 14 May 2016
  • 2:30am - 7:30am on 19 March 2016

NAB

  • 12am - 8am on 26 Aug 2016
  • 12am - 2am on 31 Jul 2016
  • 6:30am - 7:30am on 10 Jul 2016
  • 5am - 9am on 3 Jul 2016
  • 12am - 6am on 4 Jun 2016
  • 12am - 7am on 15 May 2016
  • 12am - 4am on 30 Apr 2016

Bendigo Bank

  • 12am - 4am on 18 Aug 2016
  • 9:20pm - TBC on 10 Aug 2016
  • 11pm - 3:24am on 12 Jul 2016
  • 7:56pm - 8:43pm on 28 Jun 2016
  • 12am - 7am on 7 Jun 2016
  • 12am - 7am on 7 May 2016
  • 10pm - 6am on 9 Apr 2016

What the figures reveal

  • ANZ is the least reliable provider of online banking services in Australia, reporting nine outages in the 15-week survey period. Its last three outages before the survey period began occurred in February and March 2016.
  • The other three of Australia’s “Big Four” had similarly disappointing results: Commonwealth Bank was second with eight outages, NAB was equal-third with seven outages, and Westpac came in equal sixth with five outages.
  • Had the survey period started one month earlier and run to the same end date, Commonwealth Bank would have topped the table with an extra three outages.
  • The majority of outages were scheduled for the hours between midnight and 6am, which hopefully resulted in minimal disruptions for customers.
  • Nine banks did not report any outages during the survey period, which means they may not report scheduled online banking outages on their Twitter feeds.
  • Of those banks that did report outages on Twitter, Bank of Sydney was the most reliable with just one outage recorded across 15 weeks.

How to find a reliable online banking service

Do you want to find a bank that offers a reliable and easy-to-use online banking platform? Keep the following tips in mind to help you find Internet banking you can trust.

Outages

Do a little research into just how reliable a bank’s online platform is. Have you seen any media reports about widespread outages affecting customers? Can you find any data similar to that featured in this survey about the number of scheduled outages and how often they occur?

Ease of use

Online banking is designed to make it quick and simple to manage your finances whenever and wherever you are, so it’s important that an Internet banking platform is as easy to use as possible. Make sure any online banking platform you choose makes it simple and convenient to check your balance, pay bills and perform other everyday transactions.

Features

What actions can you perform from your bank’s online platform? As well as checking account balances you may be able to view your transaction history and statements, transfer funds, pay bills, pay off your credit card, change address details, apply for new products, find your nearest ATM and use a range of online calculators.

Reviews

Check out online reviews of a platform to see how it compares to other platforms in terms of ease of use and the transactions you can perform. You can also ask friends and family members for their recommendations and advice.

App access

Does the bank also have mobile and tablet apps to help you conduct your online banking? How easy are they to use and do they allow you to perform all the same functions as Internet banking? Compare banks with mobile banking

Security measures

Finally, compare the different security measures each bank has in place to prevent Internet banking customers becoming victims of fraud. As well as protection for your personal and financial details, is there a money-back guarantee if you suffer loss due to fraud? With a little bit of research, you can find the bank that offers an online banking platform you can rely on.

More great ideas from finder.com.au

Get a life insurance quote
Get a life insurance quote

Find out what it costs to protect yourself and your family

More info...
Refinancing home loans
Refinancing home loans

Choose from offers with rates as low as 3.39% p.a.

More info...
Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Compare plans for Google's flagship Android phone

More info...
Christmas ideas
Christmas ideas

Visit our Christmas homepage for gift ideas, markets, travel & deals

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback