Connectivity issues with Nets QR code affect some e-payment users, including DBS PayLah!

Some users may have experienced "temporary difficulties" while making Nets QR code payments, due to connectivity issues from 11.59am to 12.33pm on Sept 19, 2018.
Some users may have experienced "temporary difficulties" while making Nets QR code payments, due to connectivity issues from 11.59am to 12.33pm on Sept 19, 2018.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Some e-payment users, including those of DBS’s PayLah app, may have unwittingly made double payments on Wednesday (Sept 19).

In a Facebook post on Friday evening, Nets, the payment service provider, apologised and said that some users may have experienced "temporary difficulties" while making Nets QR code payments, due to connectivity issues from 11.59am to 12.33pm that day.

A Nets spokesman told The Straits Times on Saturday that its QR code system had encountered an “unexpected scenario” that prevented some payment requests from being completed.

“This resulted in an unusual number of failed transactions which was picked up by our monitoring system and the matter was rectified immediately,” it said.

The Nets spokesman added that the security of the system was not compromised, and that it had enhanced the system to ensure similar incidents do not recur.

DBS’s PayLah!, OCBC Bank’s Pay Anyone, United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) Mighty and Nets’ own NetsPay all use Nets’ QR code system.

Mr Dominic Ying, OCBC Bank's vice president of group brand and communications, said there were no incidents of double payments for OCBC Pay Anyone app users on Sept 19.

A UOB spokesman said that the bank’s customers have not reported similar issues when making payments on the UOB Mighty mobile banking app.

In its Friday post, Nets said: "For affected DBS PayLah! users, please note that we're working with the bank to automatically effect refunds for duplicate transactions."

Users should see refunds credited to their wallets in three working days, Nets added.

The PayLah app has a "Scan to Pay" feature that allows users to make digital payments, by scanning the Nets QR code provided by a merchant using the app on their mobile phone.

Merchants  that offer PayLah as a payment option include several hawker centres, convenience stores, retailers and eateries.

The Nets spokesman explained that duplicate transactions may have occurred if users made a few attempts to pay during this period.

In its post, Nets also advised users to check their e-wallet balance and transaction history, and to e-mail info@nets.com.sg if there were discrepancies.

A few PayLah users have also posted on the DBS Facebook page complaining about issues with the app.

User Thomas Tham Ting Hoi said he had tried to use PayLah to pay for his lunch on Sept 19 but ended up having to pay in cash as the payments failed to go through.

However, the online transactions were successful some time later, he said in his post. When he called DBS customer service, he was told to get his refund directly from the merchant, he wrote.

"Does this mean that I cannot trust what the app says on my phone... and I have to approach the merchant myself and hope to get my money back?" Mr Tham added, noting that some of his friends had also encountered similar issues.

DBS replied to Mr Tham in a comment, apologising and asking him to share the merchant's name and the payment amount.

The Nets spokesman said: “We apologise to users who were affected by this incident.”