Thousands of ATMs down in Indonesia

JAKARTA • Thousands of ATMs and electronic card payment machines in Indonesia went offline over the weekend, after an outage from a satellite belonging to state-controlled telecom giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom).

It could take two weeks before the services are fully restored. Around 15,000 ground sites across Indonesia were affected by the problem on the Telkom-1 satellite, whose service is used by government agencies, banks, broadcasters and other corporations, Telkom's president-director Alex Sinaga told reporters yesterday.

A shift in the direction of the satellite's antenna, which was first detected last Friday, had disrupted connectivity.

Bank Central Asia (BCA), Indonesia's largest bank by market value, had about 5,700 of its ATMs affected by the outage, or 30 per cent of the total machines operated by the bank, chief executive Jahja Setiaatmadja said. The Internet connection in some remote BCA branches were also hit. State-controlled Bank Rakyat Indonesia said around 300 of its ATMs were affected, but some had since been restored.

Some shoppers in Jakarta said stores could not process credit card payments using EDC (electronic data capture) machines over the weekend, while Twitter users complained about a number of ATMs that were not online yet yesterday.

According to central bank data, there are more than 100,000 ATMs in Indonesia. "Our estimation is by Sept 10, all (connections to) 15,000 sites would be recovered," Mr Sinaga said.

As of yesterday, around 17 per cent of the connections had been restored, he added, by shifting connections to other satellites and adjusting the direction of ground antennae.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Thousands of ATMs down in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe