Woolworths, Caltex and other major retailers and banks suffered a major setback on Thursday afternoon when a widespread Telstra outage meant they were unable to take electronic payments for a number of hours.
The outage, which occurred at approximately 2.30pm, impacted some of Telstra’s IP network services, including EFTPOS, ATM and some payment platforms.
At 4.05pm on Thursday, Caltex Australia took to Twitter to inform customers of the difficulties.
“Due to the current Telstra outage we are experiencing challenges with EFTPOS payments in stores nationwide and are unable to receive calls to our contact centre,” the company said in a tweet.
A Woolworths spokesperson told Inside FMCG that its services were impacted for a number of hours.
“As a result of a Telstra network issue the electronic payment systems in our stores were impacted for a few hours yesterday afternoon,” the spokesperson said.
Woolworths confirmed that it “continued to trade during this time” as it was able to process EFTPOS payments while offline. But many customers reported on Twitter that they needed to pay in cash at some stores.
On Friday morning, the retailer told Inside FMCG that its “systems are now back online and normal service has resumed”.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience the outage caused customers shopping with us yesterday afternoon,” the spokesperson added.
By about 7pm on Thursday evening, Telstra reported that most services were being restored.
Telstra told Inside FMCG that the outage may have been caused by high network traffic in NSW.
“We are continuing to investigate the exact cause of this issues but early investigations suggest it was caused by an unusually large volume of traffic across network links in NSW,” Telstra said.
The mobile company apologised to customers on Twitter saying it was “sorry if this issue has messed up [their] night”.