JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank, erroneously shot down some consumers’ attempts to make purchases with its credit cards on Black Friday.
The company noted the faulty “declines” for some of its Chase-branded credit cards when asked by Payments Dive about customers’ complaints online. Some customers said their cards were being declined despite plenty of credit available for their accounts.
“We approved most credit card transactions Friday as usual, but declined some that we would usually approve,” a spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase said in an emailed statement. He didn’t respond to a question about the number of erroneous declines.
The spokesperson also didn’t explain the hiccup in credit approvals. It happened just as Americans were embarking on purchases for what is typically the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, during which retailers discount some merchandise ahead of the year-end holidays.
Despite the New York City bank’s problems, the largest U.S. credit card networks said their operations were running as usual on Friday. Spokespeople for Visa, the biggest network, and No. 2 Mastercard said Monday that their systems hadn’t experienced any trouble in processing payments that day.
The Chase trouble was reported earlier via consumer complaints posted on the website Downdetector, an online dashboard for monitoring outages that is run by Ookla, a unit of digital media and internet company Ziff Davis.
The faulty declines came on a day when more than 4,000 HSBC customers reported they could not access online and mobile banking services through the bank’s app, according to Downdetector.
“Literally the worst timing ever,” one user posted to X — formerly Twitter — according to the Guardian.
Complaints began shortly after 7 a.m. London time Friday and peaked around 9 a.m., with hundreds of customers still reporting issues by 4 p.m., according to Downdetector.
HSBC posted on X at 11 p.m. local time Friday that “services are back up and running” and apologized for the complications, which a bank spokesperson, earlier in the day, attributed to an “internal system issue,” according to Reuters.
Users accessing HSBC’s mobile app saw a message Friday indicating the bank was “performing a system upgrade to bring you a better banking experience,” the Guardian reported.
Customers who were attempting to make purchases could still opt to confirm transactions through a one-time code sent via text, Bloomberg reported.
“We understand this is really frustrating for some of our customers, and we are really sorry for the inconvenience,” an HSBC spokeswoman said in a statement seen by the wire service.