How My Morning Went When I Went Totally Cashless With OCBC & OCBC Was Totally Down


The Story of OCBC Ghosting Me

This morning started just like any other morning: I woke up and convinced myself that I wasn’t sick even when I was obviously not sick. I told myself that I should be grateful that it’s a short workweek, all thanks to three men who decided to run for President. But it’s not like any other morning.

With OCBC’s disruption, I got to know how reliable I depended on my phone, and in particular, my bank.

Because this morning (28 August), all OCBC services were down.

I had gone out of my house with my phone that saved my OCBC card details. And nothing else, because it’s 2023: who else still uses a wallet?

The First OCBC Problem

Unfortunately, I used a usual EZ-Link card, so I can’t tell my boss that I can’t come in to the office as my SimplyGo card simply won’t go.

I’m sure many people use that card.

Once in the office, everything looks fine; the boss is still angry, my colleagues are still sad, and the computers are working.

Sitting down, I decided to get my first cup of coffee, and that was when I get my first taste of OCBC’s punch in my face.

I headed to the nearby café, and after ordering, the cashier said that my debit card in my Samsung Pay was rejected.

I panicked because I knew I had at least $40 in my bank account, and wondered if I had, once again, mistaken the date that Netflix deducts from my account.

Or was there another streaming service that I’ve unknowingly subscribed to, and unknowingly paid for it for 12 months?

The cashier tried again, and when it failed, I was desperately trying to find a reason for OCBC’s fault.

Maybe I could tell her that her POS machine has Douyin installed, so she should delete that as OCBC doesn’t allow side-loaded apps?

Before I could come out with my perfect excuse, she said, “Do you have any other card?”

I was mortified. Much more mortified than Obama.

No, not because she asked if I had another card. Because it’s 2023: who else still uses a wallet?


I told her I didn’t bring my wallet, and it seems like my coffee is ready. She was left with two choices:

  • Give me my coffee for free
  • Give me my coffee for free

She chose none of the options, and so, I offered a third choice: “Do you accept PayNow?”

I believe my IQ points just raised by 200 points after mouthing that, and she said, “Yes. Here’s the QR Code.”

All of a sudden, I sensed that my IQ points just dropped by 250 points, because how could I pay when the problem is due to the Disney+ subscription I had accidentally bought?

I opened my OCBC app, and suddenly, I breathed such a big relief that the hot coffee became iced coffee instead.


It’s not me; it’s my bank!

The cashier cheered with me, thinking that she’s finally getting rid of a problematic customer.

I showed her this…

… and pointed repeatedly at the message that said OCBC is currently facing a network problem.

I left the cafe without my coffee, but with my ego still intact.


Finding Out What Went Wrong With OCBC

Without coffee, I couldn’t work, so I went back to my office to confirm that it was OCBC, and not me.

The first result from Google is from “”, and it said that is working well. I was Overly Confused By Conclusion.

Is OCBC really down, or was my encounter in the cafe just a dream?

I log into Disney+ immediately to confirm that I’ve not subscribed to their service.

I then went to OCBC social media, but there was no mention of any disruption.


And then, I delved deeper, remembering what a wise old man once said, “Read the comments. Gold is hidden there.”

That was when I realised that yes! Details of the disruption were revealed in the comments!

As time goes by, I was more convinced that I’ve not subscribed to Disney+, as media outlets started to confirm the disruption.

OCBC confirmed it too, but it was too late; my coffee is still uncollected.

OCBC Down: It Never Ended

Optimistically, I thought the disruption would end soon. After all, OCBC takes drastic measures to ensure our security isn’t compromised. Their network must be as strong as a diamond, right?

Perhaps a chubby blue cat tripped over a cable, and they just needed to plug it back in. But no; lunchtime came, and I went through the whole embarrassment again, this time with a cashier from McDonald’s.

Thankfully, the cashier is a machine.

Well, that was when I realised that today might just be the time for me to try out the intermittent fasting that people have been raving about for years.


But at my second try, my Nasi Lamak burger meal was confirmed.

What’s the lesson to learn here?

Someone in OCBC shouldn’t have downloaded Douyin lah, making it an Overly Complicated Banking Corporation.

And also, the universe has spoken: I’m not supposed to do intermittent fasting. That is for DBS and UOB users.

OCBC has since responded, saying that they’ve restored all banking services, and that our monies remained safe and customer data was secured throughout.

They are investigating the cause of the technical problem and will provide an update as soon as they can.

In the meantime, if you didn’t catch the jokes about Douyin, you might want to watch this to the end: