Thailand’s central bank to introduce rules to limit bank system outages

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is to issue a new regulation which seeks to put a time limit on commercial banks’ mobile banking app outages, to ease the impacts on customers, according to Kitti Kosavisutte, committee chairman of the Thailand Banking Sector Computer Emergency Response Team (TB-CERT).


He said that the central bank has already gauged the opinions of financial institutions and relevant agencies about the problem of mobile banking app crashes, which have occurred at a number of commercial banks in the past several months, causing widespread frustration.


The new rule will be considered by the BoT board before it is applied to commercial banks, he said.


He said that a document, called a Service Level Agreement (SLA), will be issued by the central bank and signed by the commercial banks. Under the SLA the banks will have to comply with conditions set by the central bank, such as the accumulated app outages not exceeding 8.7 hours per year.


He explained that the central bank does not want to see system disruptions, which have widespread impacts on bank customers adding, however, that the central bank will not inflict penalties on banks which fail to meet the outage limits at this stage.


According to the BoT’s Financial Consumer Protection Centre, during the third quarter of this year, the TMBT Thanachart Bank (TTB) recorded six system outages lasting a total of 46 hours, the Siam Commercial Bank recorded six outages lasting a total of six hours and UOB experienced one outage for about two hours.


Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Citi, CIMB Bank and Tisco Bank each registered one outage for about one hour.


Kitti noted, however, that not all the system outages were caused by the banks themselves, as some were caused by a surge of transactions through the PromptPay app, such as during sales promotion at Shopee and Lazada.


Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service