Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's teller machine network ground to a halt today, amidst unrelated concern over job cuts looming at the financial giant.
Retailers and consumers that used ANZ's nation-wide EFTPOS and ATM network were unable to complete transactions this afternoon, the bank confirmed.
"Our switching hardware for point of sale transactions, including EFTPOS and credit cards, has begun to run very slowly this afternoon after the input of some invalid data by a merchant," an ANZ spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au by email.
"The slowness is causing time-outs for transactions in many cases which in turn is resulting in transactions not being processed."
ANZ is currently attempting to remedy the problem by restarting the switching hardware, and expected to services to be back up by 4pm today.Technology staff to go with restructure?
The bank also came under pressure this morning from media and unions to reveal how many staff are likely to be cut as part of the restructure it announced in September.
The Age reported that as many as 3,500 staff could go, but the bank's spokesperson said this was wrong and that the bank was yet to determine the number of staff to go and whether the changes would affect technology staff.
"There is no plan to cut 10 per cent of our workforce. The speculation is wrong," they said. The one group unlikely to be affected by the cuts was those in "customer-serving roles".
"What we are undertaking is a significant belt-tightening exercise over the coming weeks and months — the focus is on middle management roles — but at this stage it's not possible to be more definitive on numbers," they said.
Financial Services Union spokesperson Leanne Shingles told ZDNet.com.au today that the union had been trying for weeks to ascertain the numbers and areas of the business to be affected by the restructure. She said that ANZ had not responded but added that it was expected to make an announcement this afternoon.