In glitch, some Citi iPad app users double-paid their bills, bank reveals

Feb 12, 2012
Finance

Citibank said it is settling up with customers who had been using its Citibank for iPad app. The nation’s fourth largest lender has announced it has been aiming to become the world’s largest digital bank. Now a glitch resulted in some Citibank customers using the Citibank app on their iPads to be double charged as […]

Citibank said it is settling up with customers who had been using its Citibank for iPad app.

The nation’s fourth largest lender has announced it has been aiming to become the world’s largest digital bank.

Now a glitch resulted in some Citibank customers using the Citibank app on their iPads to be double charged as they paid their bills. The problem started last summer when Citibank introduced its new iPad app.

Citi touted its app in a YouTube video, saying the Citibank for iPad app was “the first app from a major U.S. bank to depart from traditional ledger-style banking and offer graphs and visual representations of consumer accounts and transactions. The intuitive user interface makes it easy for customers to check balances, control their cash flow, pay bills, transfer funds, access rewards and find nearby Citibank ATMs and branches, all at the touch of their screen.”

Overcharges went undetected for months, Ben Protess said in the New York Times.

“The problem, which began in July but went undetected by the bank until December, prompted bogus payments big and small. Some customers quickly spotted the redundant transaction and complained to Citi, while other consumers were caught off guard when the bank recently notified them of the discrepancy,” he said.

In some cases, customers overdrew their accounts. Solon Harmony Dolor said in Social Barrel the iPad glitch caused problems with fewer than 2 percent of the transactions the app handled.

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Citibank spokesman Andrew Brent said Citi had “immediately fixed the technical issue.”

Protess said Citibank in December traced the error to an internal flaw. “A technical command on the bank’s iPad application, it turned out, was wrongly set to redo transactions that had initially failed,” he reported. “The bank began alerting customers to the snag in mid-January, and made another round of calls this week, including to clients who say they had not paid their bills through the iPad.”

The bank said it would cancel any fees customers incurred as a result of the extra charges, refund lost interest and dole out some points for its Thank You rewards program.

Apple declined comment.

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