By Abdel Jimenez Chicago Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) With so many people trying to log on to see if their stimulus check arrived, some banks experienced outages on their online banking platforms on Monday and Tuesday.
Several banks reported issues with online banking services as millions of Americans check their accounts for federal stimulus checks.
Banks said they are experiencing high volumes of clients using their websites, mobile phone applications and call centers. Customers trying to log in to their accounts with SunTrust Banks, BB&T, PNC Bank, TCF Bank and Fifth Third Bank all had trouble Wednesday morning.
The federal government is sending payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent child to certain taxpayers under the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package Congress passed to aid the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Americans who filed taxes in 2018 and 2019 could see checks dispersed this week through direct deposit or by mail, depending on how they filed their returns.
The U.S. Department of Treasury estimated about 80 million Americans would receive payments starting Wednesday.
Clients with Fifth Third Bank had difficulties logging in to their accounts as a large number of customers were trying to check for federal stimulus funds.
"The online mobile banking platforms were not available this morning for a short period of time due to high volumes of people trying to access their accounts. Users were experiencing temporary log in issues," Fifth Third spokesman Larry Magnesen said.
Magnesen said some users had been able to regain access to their accounts but the company was still working to restore full service as of Wednesday afternoon.
Truist Financial, which was formed after the merger of SunTrust and BB&T in 2019, said it experienced high traffic on its online banking platforms that prevented some customers from accessing their accounts Wednesday morning.
"Some of the issues have already been resolved, and we're working as quickly as possible to restore all services," Kyle Terrance, a Truist spokesman, said in an emailed statement.
PNC reported similar issues.
"PNC customers have experienced intermittent mobile and care center access today. This is the result of an unprecedented volume of customers using these channels to check their accounts for Economic Impact Payments and other forms of financial hardship relief. Our technical teams are engaged and we appreciate our customers' patience as we work as quickly as we can to address the issue," Marcey Zwiebel, a spokesperson for PNC, said in an emailed statement.
TCF Bank had a short outage on its online banking platforms earlier this week, but the company said customers can start accessing their online accounts again.
"We were experiencing intermittent outages on our online banking platform Monday and Tuesday along with extremely high login volume. We made some adjustments to the platform and are currently serving our customers with no issues right now," Tom Wennerberg, a spokesman for TCF Bank, said in an emailed statement.
The IRS on Wednesday launched a free web application tool titled "Get My Payment" that allows individuals who filed tax returns but did not include their banking information to submit direct deposit information. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.