ATM congestion ends, online money transfers blocked during Tet, customers complain

In the days leading up to Tet Giap Thin 2024, many banks found themselves in a state of online money transfer service congestion, causing customers to become frustrated and impatient while waiting.


For almost a week, Ms. Ha, the chief accountant of a company in Hanoi, has been exhausted and frustrated with the process of paying salaries and bonuses to employees before the Lunar New Year. Having to transfer money to more than 100 people, Ms. Ha has had a hard time as the online banking system has been congested, causing long waiting times and even errors that prevent money transfers.

“I sent the order but the bank’s system did not respond, so I couldn’t know the status of the transaction. When I called to inquire, the bank staff said it was because the system was overloaded with a large number of people accessing at the same time.

The only way is to wait for the system to return to normal before processing the executed transaction. They also reminded me that if it is not really necessary, I should limit transfers during these days. However, this is the last expense of the year, and our company cannot stop it,” Ms. Ha said.

Ms. Ha added that she used to transfer money to domestic accounts very quickly, and even foreign accounts only took a short time. But now, even transferring to domestic accounts is difficult, let alone foreign accounts.

“I had to ask some people with foreign bank accounts to create domestic bank accounts with the company’s account in the hope of making it easier for them to receive money,” Ms. Ha said.

Customers are having difficulty conducting money transactions through the online banking system. (Illustrative image)

Not only Ms. Ha but many others have also complained about the inconvenience of waiting to receive money transferred online through banks on the days leading up to Lunar New Year, when they need the fastest money transactions.

Ms. Tran Khanh Hien, an online business trader in Thanh Xuan, Hanoi, said that for the past 5 days, her business has encountered many difficulties due to frequent disruptions and congestions in online money transfers through banks, especially for international transactions.

“I sell online and I need to make fast payments and receive money immediately. But these days, many transactions have been waiting for hours and I still haven’t received the money. This not only affects my financial source but also wastes time waiting and communicating between me and hundreds of customers,” Ms. Hien said.

On social media, many customers are complaining to each other about being exhausted waiting to receive money when transferring online. “What’s wrong with the banks that they can’t process transactions? I need the money but I’ve been waiting for hours and still haven’t received it,” said Tuấn nguyễn.

“My husband has been trying to transfer money to me from morning till afternoon but couldn’t do it. He logged into the app many times and had to log out again. At this busy time, waiting like this is such a waste of time. In the past, the ATMs were congested, so they encouraged people to withdraw money online to reduce the load. Now that customers rarely use the ATM channels, the online transactions are congested, which is very inconvenient,” shared Hồng Hạnh.

Explaining why the banking transactions are congested on the days leading up to Tet, a representative from a bank said, “The number of people using electronic transactions suddenly increases, usually during a few peak hours of the day, causing some systems to have errors due to overload, resulting in slow or temporarily unable to process transfer or receive money.”

“In addition, areas with weak and slow Internet connections also make transactions difficult. These are objective reasons due to technical accidents, which we try to resolve quickly to ensure the best interests of customers.

“We are making our best efforts to serve, but customers should limit the choice of transaction time during working hours to reduce congestion,” the representative added.

Recently, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued a directive requiring the State Bank of Vietnam to direct the operation of the clearing system, financial transaction switching system to ensure the stable, safe, and smooth operation of the payment system 24/7, serving the payment needs, as well as cash withdrawals through the ATM system before and during the Lunar New Year 2024.

The State Bank of Vietnam also said that there have been many solutions to avoid network congestion when conducting online transactions, as well as preparing enough cash for ATMs and bank transaction points to serve the needs of businesses and people.

Accordingly, the State Bank of Vietnam has requested infrastructure service providers to check, maintain the infrastructure system, technical equipment, transmission lines, and closely monitor and supervise to ensure the safe, smooth, and stable operation of card switching, and financial transactions.

Especially, the authorities have requested units to strictly follow regulations on information security, inform about network attacks, new types of malware, and security vulnerabilities, turn off unnecessary services outside of banking hours and during holidays.

Meanwhile, a representative from the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) said that the company has implemented solutions to ensure the technical infrastructure and processing capacity of the system always meet the growing transaction volume, even when there are fluctuations during peak periods.

“One of the practical solutions is that NAPAS’s system is designed to exceed the capacity to serve from 100% – 150%, meeting the growth rate in the number of online transactions of the people,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Minh, General Director of NAPAS.

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