The 'Millionaires' Of Ethiopia: Technical Glitch At ATM Creates Jackpot For Customers At Country's Biggest Bank; What Happened & What's Next?

The 'Millionaires' Of Ethiopia: Technical Glitch At ATM Creates Jackpot For Customers At Country's Biggest Bank; What Happened & What's Next?

Picture this: long queues forming at ATMs not to check balances or withdraw modest sums, but to cash in on an unexpected stroke of luck.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 01:40 PM IST
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Ever imagined waking up to find your bank account filled to the brim with cash? That dream became an unexpected reality for many in Ethiopia, as a technical glitch at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia sparked an unusual frenzy. How did a routine system update turn into a jackpot for Ethiopian bank customers?

Recently, Ethiopia's largest financial institution, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, is grappling with the aftermath of a technical glitch that allowed customers to withdraw more than they had in their accounts.

Following this technical glitch, cash machines across the nation saw a significant queues as customers rushed to capitalise on the unexpected opportunity.

Transactions recorded

During the glitch, around half a million transactions were conducted, according to statements from the bank's CEO, Abe Sano, although the bank has not disclosed the exact amount withdrawn.

According to local media estimates, the losses are around 2.4 billion Ethiopian Birr (USD 42 Billion).

Root Cause

Ethiopia's central bank clarified in a statement that the issue was caused from a 'routine system update and inspection,' rather than a cyber attack. Consequently, due to this the Ethiopia's banking system underwent temporary shutdown for several hours while efforts were made to rectify the problem, leaving customers unable to withdraw cash during this period.

Recovery Efforts Underway

Abe in a statement said that the bank is actively collaborating with law enforcement agencies to recover the funds that were lost during the incident.

Despite the scale of the incident, the bank has chosen not to pursue legal action against students who withdrew funds not belonging to them.

The news of the glitch on Saturday quickly spread across social media channels, reportedly spread by university students who took advantage of the situation to withdraw substantial amounts of money, as said by the bank's CEO, Abe Sano.

About the bank

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, founded in 1963, stands as the nation's largest financial institution, serving around 40 million customers.

From Lines to Laughter

Picture this: long queues forming at ATMs not to check balances or withdraw modest sums, but to cash in on an unexpected stroke of luck.

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