Customers forced to use cash as MADA network down

September 23, 2018

By Abdul Rahman Al-Misbahi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Jeddah —
The MADA payment services were disrupted Sunday for the second time in less than a year affecting sale and purchase operations in shops and withdrawal of money from ATMs.

This disruption forced everyone to deal in cash only.

Many retail stores and restaurants on Sunday declined to provide services to those who wanted to pay through their MADA cards as the network was down.

The disruption of the MADA services was caused by a fire in one of the power units operating the main data center, an official source told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

He said the fire was put out and the operations resumed partially through a standby operations center. The disruption only affected shops and restaurants that require the MADA payment network, according to banking expert Mustafa Timarik.

He stressed that the glitch will not affect clients’ bank accounts and balances.

The MADA network announced last May the disruption of services due to technical problems.

The Saudi Payments Network or MADA is the only and major payment system in the Kingdom connecting all ATM and point of sale (POS) terminals throughout the country to a central payment switch which in turn re-routes the financial transactions to the card issuer.

All services are provided to customers free of charge, regardless of the ATM used, its operator, or the customer›s card issuer.

There are now more than 6,000 ATMs and 110,000 POSs connected to the network.

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