​Cuscal behind Woolworths duplicate payment bungle

The supermarket chain has blamed independent payments provider Cuscal for the error that has seen transactions withdrawn a second time from some customers' bank accounts.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Woolworths has apologised to customers on Monday following reports that some experienced a second batch of payments withdrawn from their bank accounts.

A Woolworths spokesperson told ZDNet it received confirmation from Cuscal, one of its payment processors that services financial institutions, that due to an error at its datacentre, Woolworths customers may have received incorrect transactions on accounts processed by Cuscal.

"We are working closely with Cuscal and can confirm any payment errors will be corrected as soon as possible," the spokesperson added, offering its 1300 767 969 call centre number for customers to call if they have experienced the error.

Woolworths ended the 2016 financial year with a AU$1.2 billion loss and the realisation it needed to continue playing catch-up on investment in IT infrastructure.

Six months into his tenure, the company's CEO Brad Banducci told shareholders that during the year Woolworths made major changes to the way it operates, including the removal of what he called unnecessary bureaucracy, and costs.

"FY16 was a year of unprecedented change for Woolworths. The decisions we have taken and investments we have made have had a material impact on our FY16 results but have been necessary to begin the rebuilding of Woolworths," Banducci said last year.

"We are seeing early signs of progress as we work to restore our competiveness and improve our culture."

Woolworths announced a AU$959 million operating review in July last year, which included the absorption of approximately AU$80 million relating to initiatives the supermarket giant is no longer pursuing, the impairment of IT platform assets, and the cost of restructuring consultancy services.

In June 2015, Woolworths had to cancel over AU$1 million worth of shopping vouchers after it was alleged the supermarket giant emailed gift card details to a large number of customers.

The breach affected customers who purchased vouchers from the online saving site Groupon. Once an e-gift card was purchased from the third party website, customers were told they would receive an email containing an attachment of their electronic voucher. However, upon opening the attachment, they discovered an excel spreadsheet containing the links to over AU$1 million worth of vouchers.

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