A serious outage at online-only financial company Chime prevented some customers from making debit card transactions and accessing their accounts via the mobile app and website, leading to a flurry of frustrated posts on social media from those who said they were unable to pay bills or had found their cards declined for purchases.
The outage was first noted on Wednesday afternoon, according to a company status page. By Thursday morning, the institution tweeted that most functions were back online. But some customers continued to post on Twitter that their accounts were locked.
In a statement at about 1 p.m. ET Thursday, spokesperson Kendra Boccelli said the outage was due to “an issue with our gateway processing partner.”
“Chime card transactions and cash withdrawals have now been fully restored and members have full access to their funds. Deposits are posting and have not been affected by the outage. All consumer funds and data are safe,” the statement said.
Chime experienced service disruptions in July and September as well, though this week’s appears to have been on a larger scale.
Hotel manager Juanita Crawford of Oklahoma City said her debit card was declined when she tried to pay for lunch Wednesday. When she checked her app, she couldn't access her account.
Crawford said she’d been happy with her Chime account for more than a year and had recommended the company to others.
“Now I feel like a heel because one that I referred recently had to pay for my lunch,” she said.
If you are affected by this or any banking outage, here’s what you need to know, as well as what you can do to protect your records.
What you can do right now
Check your balance. If you are not able to pull up your balance online, a customer service representative may be able to provide help by telephone.
You can call Chime’s customer service number at 844-244-6363.
What to do next
Tech failures can happen at large banks as well as smaller, online companies. Here’s what you can do to prepare yourself.
Have a backup plan. If Chime is your only banking option, consider opening a second account elsewhere so you will be able to continue to access funds in the event of an outage. See below for more information from Chime.
Be on the alert for fraud. If someone claiming to be from your financial institution contacts you out of the blue and asks for personal information, it could be a fraudster trying to take advantage of fear around the outage. It could be a phishing attempt designed to use your identity to get access to your money. Make sure all contact with Chime is through official means, such as its customer service number.
Check your records. When your account comes back online, check it closely for recent transactions. If you see any charges you didn’t authorize, or other suspicious-looking activity, contact your institution to investigate.
» Looking for other options? See our list of best checking accounts