A little known company, Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange (ITMX), is controlled by a consortium of Thai banks, and is responsible for PromptPay and PromptCard, including all glitches, security failures and lack of testing.

Commercial banks will return service charges to customers who had to pay the fees when the PromptPay online money transfer service crashed on Sunday morning, the Thai Bankers Association says.

With PromptPay, transaction fees are waived if the amount of money is less than 5,000 baht, but when the system stopped working for several hours, people had to switch to traditional methods that resulted in them paying fees.

To take responsibility for the glitch, “every bank will return the fees to customers”, association chairman Pridi Daochai said Wednesday.

PromptPay temporarily stopped working on the morning of New Year’s Eve. Technicians had to fix the problem which was later found to have been caused by a mistake in setting the last day of the calendar year.

Though the system was brought back to normal service at 2.45pm on the same day, its malfunction affected many customers and up to 20,000 transactions.

All the money they transferred has already reached recipients, Mr Pridi said.

The problem had occurred for the first time since the government rolled out the new money transfer service in January last year, he said, apologising to all customers.

A mistake had been made in the writing of the computer program to manage the service. There will be no similar problems in the future, Mr Pridi assured.

Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange Co, which has been hired to oversee the PromptPay system, solved the problem within a few hours.

This amount of time might be considered too long, but Mr Pridi said after solving the glitch, operators had to retest it with all commercial banks before reactivating the system for the public.

The government launched PromptPay consumer-to-consumer transactions on Jan 27 last year under its national e-payment scheme.

News Reporter

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