Banks, payments hit as Rogers suffers major network failure in Canada

Rogers Communications Inc. is experiencing a widespread network failure in its wireless and internet services, causing payment systems and automated teller machines at banks to go down.

Reports of problems with the Rogers network began early Friday and have reached tens of thousands of complaints, according to the tracking site

Royal Bank of Canada said on Twitter that the “Canada-wide outage” was affecting ATMs, point-of-sale and online banking services. Bank of Montreal said all financial institutions were having problems.

Interac, a payment system, said network problems were affecting some of its debit card and funds-network transfer services. Some government offices also lost their connections — including the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the body that regulates communications services, which said its phone lines weren’t working properly.

Police services in places including Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario, alerted the public that Rogers customers may have difficulty connecting with 911.

The outage has impacted the work day of businesses and executives all across Canada. Sameer Uplenchwar, chief financial officer of HeliosX Lithium & Technologies Corp., said he had to cancel plans to attend events at the Calgary Stampede and stay home because he cannot risk being disconnected from work.

“It’s kind of a blessing in disguise that Western Canada doesn’t have Rogers at home right now,” said Uplenchwar, who uses Telus Corp. for his home internet connection. Rogers is in the process of trying to buy Telus rival Shaw Communications Inc., which would give it control over wireline and wireless networks that provide service to millions of people in the western provinces.

— By Ana Paula Barreto Pereira (Bloomberg)

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