The owner of a specialty food and beverage store says he has been left with customers walking out the door after a payment app provided through Westpac was out of action all day, stopping him from accepting any card payments.
The man, who didn’t want to be named, said he contacted Westpac this morning after he tried to log in to the service at 7.30am and found it wasn’t working. He says initially the bank was unable to confirm there was an issue but after several attempts to find out what was going on he was told it was due to the “Get Paid” app being down.
The app is designed to allow small retailers to be paid by card through using an app on their mobile phone.
The retailer said the outage meant he could only accept cash or online payments.
“There has definitely been customers walking out the door. It costs me business every time the Eftpos goes down. We have just opened up for trading for the New Year. The first day of trading was yesterday, we had a clean day sailing day and day two we are turning customers away. It’s not a great start to the New Year.”
A Westpac spokesman confirmed a small number of Westpac’s merchant customers were currently affected by an outage of a third-party app, which allowed a mobile phone to be used as a terminal to accept payments.
“The app’s developers are working urgently to address the issue, which is expected to be resolved later this afternoon,” the spokesman said.
“Westpac apologises to affected customers and the public who may be inconvenienced.”
It is the second time the bank has had to apologise to its customers in a week, after a technology glitch meant some transactions made on the busiest shopping days before Christmas were not processed correctly and only put through a fortnight later.
That issue has left some Westpac customers out of pocket and with transactions being declined, after they were accidentally sent into overdraft.
The Westpac spokesman said the app outage was unrelated to the earlier transaction processing issue, which affected Mastercard credit and debit transactions from December 22 and 23.
The retailer said he had also experienced intermittent issues with card payments before Christmas.
“The problem is when you have had it as an ongoing issue it starts to impact your brand because customers don’t realise necessarily that it is a bigger problem - they just see a retailer who can’t provide a basic part of the equation, and they just go somewhere else.”
He estimated over the trading period that he could potentially have lost thousands of dollars.
“For a small retailer - which is what I am - [that] is not insignificant. Any dollar that goes out the door is a dollar that goes out the door and potentially a customer that may or may not come back.”