Nationwide apologises to customers as tech glitch delays payments

People queue up as they wait for a branch of the Nationwide Building Society to open in Tooting, south London, Wednesday May 27, 2009.
People queue up as they wait for a branch of the Nationwide Building Society to open in Tooting, south London, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Copyright Matt Dunham/AP
Copyright Matt Dunham/AP
By Indrabati Lahiri
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Nationwide is one of the latest to see IT glitches, following the likes of Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s, Greggs and Tesco, amongst others.


Nationwide Building Society saw a number of payment delays on Friday morning, impacting payments to and from Nationwide to other banks and building societies. This was mainly due to an IT glitch, as the society’s planned overnight maintenance activities took longer than expected.

Although Nationwide has reassured clients that the problem has now been fixed, it also highlighted that it may take a few more hours to process the current backlog of payments.

On social media platform X, Nationwide said, “We’re sorry, payments to and from other building societies and banks are delayed at the moment. We’re working to fix this ASAP. Please don’t resend/duplicate your payment. Internal transfers and your cards are working normally.”

The building society also said on their website that standing orders and direct debits were also working normally, and that clients can still log into Nationwide’s banking app and the internet banking portal. Cash machine withdrawals were also working as normal.

There has been a wave of criticism from affected customers who have expressed frustration about the payment delays impacting their mortgages, leading to fines, as well as their personal plans. There have also been complaints of the website not showing that payments were in a queue, or of money leaving one account and not entering another.

Nationwide customers face delays in personal plans

Nationwide plans to take over Virgin Money

Nationwide is currently in the process of taking over Virgin Money, worth about £2.9 billion (€3.3 billion), which will lead to it becoming the second-biggest mortgage lender in the UK. The acquisition will also lead to David Duffy, the CEO of Virgin Money resigning and could also start a round of job cuts once the two companies are merged.

Nationwide said in an email, “This acquisition will strengthen Nationwide financially and presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategy. It delivers greater value for our members and broadens the range of services we offer to include those that many members have requested.

“Acquiring the Virgin Money business will create a financially stronger building society with a larger customer and deposit base. We expect to use this financial strength to support the continued provision of savings and lending rates for members in the future that are, on average, better than across the market in general.”

Recent UK high street outages lead to suspicions of cyber attack

Several companies such as Greggs’, McDonald’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have seen IT outages in the past few days. This has led to a flurry of store closures and delivery issues, due to payment acceptance problems. Several stores also reported glitches with their online systems and tools.

However, most of these chains have refused to provide any concrete details about the reasons behind these outages, insisting that they were due to software updates. This has led to rising suspicions that the outages could possibly be linked and the UK high street could have been hit by a cyber attack.

The companies have also not given out any details about the kind of software being used, and the names of the manufacturers. This tight-lipped trend around technical issues is usually seen with other large tech companies such as Meta, and could be due to wishing to avoid chaos and panic amongst clients.

However, these outages could potentially point towards a bigger issue being faced by UK retailers around poor maintenance and upgrades of IT systems.

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