On Friday morning, people who do their banking with Ally, an online bank with no physical locations and over 1.5 million customers, discovered that debit Mastercards tied to their checking accounts had stopped working. “It’s a big problem to not have debit access with an online bank, because it holds up all of your money,” Danyell Thillet of New York told BuzzFeed News. “My spouse also has the same debit card linked in Apple Pay, so it was an issue for him too,” Thillet said.
Ally customers like Thillet, who say the bank hasn’t directly told them when their cards will start working again, are voicing their frustrations on Twitter:
In a statement, Ally spokesperson Andrea Puchalsky said, “Unfortunately, a debit card processing center at our vendor was impacted by a widespread power outage at approximately 5:45 a.m. ET today that was not within our control and affected multiple vendor clients. Power was restored to the area at approximately 6:59 a.m. ET, and debit card processing and ATM connectivity have begun to return to normal operations. It may take a bit longer for customers to see transactions post to their accounts. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused to our customers.”
According to a customer service representative, the company became aware of the debit card issue at 10 a.m. ET. Other types of accounts, like savings accounts, are not affected, the representative said.
Ally’s official Twitter account has replied individually to customer complaints, but as of publication time, it has not publicly stated that debit cards aren’t working on any of its social media channels.
Ally customers who need to withdraw their funds can move their money to another bank institution for free, through an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer. However, the transfer will take at least one business day, and could take up to three business days.
Ally, which has been previously touted as “the best bank for millennials” and the “best online bank,” claims to offer customers better service and interest rates “by eliminating the costs associated with traditional brick-and-mortar banks,” as stated on the bank’s website.
But after this experience, Thillet said she’s rethinking online banking: “I don’t know if I’m reconsidering online-only banks entirely, but definitely this one. I understand that technology breaks down, but they aren’t even keeping customers informed. If they had made some announcement, at least people can make adjustments to their day.”