Storm Triggered Avalanche of ATM Use; NYCE Set a Record; Damage to EDS Facility Idles 5,500 Machines
Barthel, Matt, American Banker
The blizzard that battered the eastern United States last weekend had widespread impact on banks' retail operations.
On Friday, the NYCE automated teller machine network recorded its single busiest day ever as consumers scrambled to get cash before the storm hit. Over 700,000 transactions were made at the network's ATMs that day. .
But storm-related damage to an Electronic Data Systems Corp. computer center resulted in service outages at more than 5,500 teller machines across the country.
On 4:30 p.m. Saturday, heavy snow collapsed the roof and part of a wall at EDS' Clifton, N.J., computer facility. The facility - which provides card authorization, network gateways, and ATM driving and other services for about 2,000 institutions around the country - was immediately shut down.
The company was unable to move its computer operations to its designated backup site because that facility was already occupied by business refugees from the World Trade Center bombing.
"It's a matter of there being no physical space available [at the backup facility]," said an EDS spokesman.
As a result, EDS was still searching Monday for a place to run its teller machine business. However, officials of the General Motors Corp. …