Customers doing banking at an ATM counter. Money that was incorrectly debited on Saturday following a banking outage is being returned to some of the impacted customers. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Money that was incorrectly debited on Saturday following a banking outage is being returned to some of the impacted customers.

Khalid Majed, an Emirates NBD customer, tweeted on Monday that he has received the full balance that was incorrectly debited from his account.

A day earlier, Majed told Gulf News that a substantial amount was debited from his account following several failed attempts to withdraw cash from ATMs (automatic teller machines) in Sharjah on Saturday.

One of the affected banks, Emirates NBD, referred to the glitch as a “technical issue” on Twitter on Saturday and later as an “outage” in a statement on Sunday.

It is unclear what exactly caused the glitch that impacted “several banks”, according to payment solutions provider Network International who said on Sunday that it was a result of “slowed connectivity grid leading to a queue up of transactions.”

Network International did not respond to further requests for comment on the outage at the time of going to press.

Uzma Atcha, another Emirates NBD customer impacted on Saturday, told Gulf News she had a similar experience, with money debited from her account despite the ATM transactions failing. She said that amount was later returned to her account on Monday.

However, not everyone has been as lucky as Majed and Atcha.

Sheila, who spoke to Gulf News on Sunday, said the incorrectly debited amount had not been returned to her account by Monday afternoon. She said Emirates NBD had previously told her the amount would be deposited within 24 hours.

Emirates NBD did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Other banks affected

On Monday, Gulf News reader Nisar said that his Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) had been impacted by the outage.

An ADCB spokesperson confirmed to Gulf News that a “technical incident” occurred with its credit card provider on Saturday.

“In most cases, the impacted transactions were immediately reversed automatically and the remaining transactions were reversed subsequently.”

The ADCB spokesperson said that affected customers were informed by SMS, and as a gesture of courtesy, the bank has credited equivalent loyalty points for the impacted transactions.


Emirates NBD emailed a statement to Gulf News apologising to its customers for the “inconvenience caused as a result of the incident on the evening of January 4, 2014.”

The spokesperson also stated that the majority of Emirates NBD customers impacted by what the bank previously referred to as a “technical issue” and an “outage” received refunds in their accounts within 24 hours.

“The ATM machines and the payment cards have also been fully operational since yesterday (January 5, 2014). We will continue to work with our partner Network International, to ensure seamless services to all our customers. We request customers who are still encountering issues to contact the bank through the Emirates NBD Call Centre at 600540000,” the Emirates NBD statement added.