Japan's Mizuho restores ATMs, online banking after glitch halts services

Japan's Mizuho restores ATMs, online banking after glitch halts services
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TOKYO (March 1): Mizuho Bank, one of Japan's major retail banks, said on Monday it had restored cash machines and online banking services after a data glitch closed down about 80% of its automated teller machines (ATMs) on Sunday.

The failure affected 4,318 ATMs out of 5,395 nationwide, said Koji Fujiwara, chief executive of Mizuho Financial Group's banking unit. The problem was caused by a failed data migration for time deposit transactions by the bank, it said earlier in a statement.

It comes as Mizuho revamped its core banking system in 2019 with more than ¥400 billion (US$3.75 billion) worth of investments.

"I'm deeply sorry that we made customers wait around ATMs for a long time," Fujiwara told a press briefing. "We will take preventive measures not to let this kind of issue happen again."

An ATM outage is particularly painful in cash-loving Japan, where electronic money has only recently made inroads.

The bank said it would return customers' cash cards and bank books which were taken by those cash machines.

Mizuho Bank had a large-scale system failure on the first day of operations after a merger in 2002, following a system breakdown after the devastating earthquake of 2011.