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Keycorp takes outage responsibility

Keycorp CEO Joe Bonin acknowledged today that his company's software had been behind the merchant terminal problems that both the Bank of Queensland and Bankwest have suffered in the past few days.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

Keycorp CEO Joe Bonin acknowledged today that his company's software had been behind the merchant terminal problems that both the Bank of Queensland and Bankwest have suffered in the past few days.

Keycorp works together with First Data to provide the merchant services for the banks, but the problem in particular was with Keycorp's product. "The software is ours," he said.

Some merchant terminals with a certain version of software had moved ahead six years when the clock hit 1 January 2010, recording payments as occurring in January 2016 and the debit or credit cards as being out of date.

Bank of Queensland and Bankwest spokespeople had both said that workarounds were in place to fix those terminals affected.

Bonin didn't agree with the term "workaround". "We already had a [permanent] solution in place from the afternoon of 1 January," he told ZDNet.com.au. "The only residual item is that the date on the receipt says 2016," he said. "From a transaction point of view the solution was in place from day one."

Merchants who had implemented Keycorp's fix — which involves entering a series of four key strokes and took two to three minutes, according to Bonin — were immediately able to transact.

"No merchant has been in the position whereby they have not been able to transact," he said. There would have been those who have not gone through the process of implementing the fix for whatever reason, he said, but everyone else's system would be running.

There were three methods to get instructions on the strokes, including using the company's website. Keycorp had also been calling merchants to fix the problem.

The receipt issue was also being tackled, Bonin said, with Keycorp working together with First Data and Bank of Queensland to find a fix. He said it was a matter of days, not weeks, until that was fixed.

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