May 22, 2024

Happy Students Day: Customers were able to withdraw millions thanks to an ATM malfunction

The headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.


Windfall for customers of Ethiopia's largest bank: Due to a malfunction, ATMs were spending a lot of money. It took hours to fix the bug, and cost a lot of money.

no time? Blue News sums it up for you

  • Ethiopia's largest bank experienced a software glitch in its ATMs over the weekend.
  • According to media reports, customers were able to withdraw more money than they were entitled to on Saturday.
  • In this way, they withdrew the equivalent of more than 38 million francs from the central bank.
  • The bank was able to solve the problem after a few hours and is now demanding the return of the illegally withdrawn funds.

On Saturday, some people in Ethiopia made a remarkable discovery: they were able to withdraw much more money than they had in their accounts from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) ATMs.

Word spread very quickly. Smartphone messaging has spread like wildfire. The result: People had the equivalent of more than 35 million francs paid or transferred to other banks e.g British BBC Citing local media from the East African country.

The Central Bank of Egypt – the largest bank in the country – did not provide any information about the amount of funds withdrawn. But she blames a fault in the system for the collapse. Bank President Abe Santo said on Monday that students in particular had exploited this vulnerability.

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The students filled their pockets

Long queues formed at ATMs on at least three university campuses, the BBC reported. The British news channel was able to speak to a student at Jimma University Institute of Technology in Ethiopia. “I couldn't believe it” when a friend told him the ATM broke down at 1 a.m.

Another Dila University student told the BBC that many of his fellow students withdrew large sums of money between midnight and 2am. At a third university, the police had to go to break up the queues in front of the ATMs.

The affected bank did not explain the reason for the software error in a statement. But it took several hours to fix that. The central bank confirmed that customer funds are safe. According to the report, the bank has more than 38 million customers.

The bank appeals to those who line their pockets: Anyone who withdraws money to which he is not entitled and returns it will not face any criminal consequences. It remains to be seen whether this call will bear fruit.

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