Challenger bank Chime’s service outage leads to users speculating about a potential hack

Chime, the US online-only bank, has suffered a severe service outage that left millions of customers without access to their money.

The outage began on Wednesday and customers quickly took to social media to voice their disappointment of having been left unable to buy food, run errands or pay their bills.

“Yikes,” the Twitter user Shizuka Christine said. “Just as I parked at Target with my daughters, I saw the outage update. had [sic] to explain to the kids why we can’t shop and finish errands. Good thing we didn’t get out of the car.”

Jess Yanez, another Twitter user, wrote, “This outage is beginning to get annoying! I have bills to pay and can’t transfer money where it’s need [sic] cause I have no access to balance or anything! Get this fixed all ready! [sic]”

Several other users quickly began to speculate that Chime had suffered a hack. Some even accused the challenger bank of trying to cover up a breach like the one affecting incumbent bank Capital One earlier this year.

“We can assure you all account information remains secure,” Chime’s Twitter account replied to one of these allegations. “No personal information or transaction information has been affected during this outage. We have identified the issue and are working to resolve it ASAP.”

While the card transactions ATM withdrawals were reportedly quickly fixed, the mobile app and Chime’s website was down for over 24 hours

Card transactions and ATM withdrawals have since been restored, and employer deposits are posting, Chime said Thursday in a statement. But the main touchpoint for Chime’s 5 million users – its mobile app and website – is still down after more than 24 hours.

On Friday morning, Chime tweeted, “Purchases, ATM withdrawals, direct deposits, ACH transfers, and Chime checkbook are working normally.”

However, some users replied that they were missing money and that they were still unable to make direct deposits.

Commenting on the service outage to CNBC, Chris Britt, CEO at Chime, said he acknowledged that he and the company had let people down.

“One of our core values is being member obsessed,” he said. “Our customers love being connected, they want to know what their balances are in real time. And when people don’t have access to the app, we understand how incredibly frustrating that is.”

Chime is not the only challenger bank to have suffered technical issues like this. Back in July, Monzo faced similar issues when users experience massive declined transactions and being locked out of their accounts.

Chime was valued at $1.5bn in March this year after raising a $200m Series D funding round.

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