digital banking

Local banks BOV and APS are working on a solution to a bug in their online messaging systems which seemingly affets a small number of people, although the full extent of it is unkown.

The issue affects messages including certain special characters, which are not received by the banks despite appearing to be sent normally on the user side.

Clients of both banks who spoke to BusinessNow.mt about the issue said the problem might be more widespread than people realise, as the banks’ messaging systems do not notify users of any error. Rather, the message appears to be sent as normal – it is simply never received.

Strangely, one of the special characters that leads to a failure in the banks’ online banking messaging system seems to be the common apostrophe (‘).

BusinessNow.mt reached out to BOV and APS, who confirmed that they are aware of the issue and are working on finding a fix.

An APS spokesperson said the bank’s technical team is “thoroughly investigating” the issue: “Our findings thus far are that not all devices nor versions of the respective operating systems are impacted. It is not all special characters which are causing the problem. This too, seems to vary by device and which OS the device is running.”

They also clarified that the desktop version of the myAPS platform is not affected.

Both banks said the number of complaints received from clients about the problem has been small, although this might also be related to the the nature of the issue, since users would be unaware of their message’s failure to send.

It is not known whether the issue affects other banks’ systems.

A BOV spokesperson pointed out that all banks apply some validations when special characters are used. “For example, even within the payment instruction, there are special characters that are and are not allowed.”

They also stressed that the issue is not specific to BOV.

APS Bank’s spokesperson meanwhile said that its development team is “actively testing a solution as we speak”.

They could not provide a fixed timeline for the deployment, but promised it would be “in the near future”.

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