Robinhood, a brokerage app, was beset by outages for a second day as trading volumes soared. The disruptions come as the platform is tested by swift customer growth and heavy market turmoil.
The malfunctions put Robinhood out of service during the US trading day yesterday and part of today before service was restored. Prices have gyrated and buying and selling has soared amid concern that Covid-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, is spreading. Late last year the Menlo Park-based company said it had 10 million users, up from 6 million accounts in October 2018.
Technology outages are costly for customers and embarrassing for the executives responsible for them. Robinhood is far from alone:
- 2019: Chime, a digital-only bank, has an outage affecting millions of customers
- 2018: Visa’s card network goes down in Europe, causing more than 5 million payment failures
- 2015: Bloomberg financial information terminal for professionals has an outage, forcing the UK government to postpone a bond offering
- 2015: Trading on the New York Stock Exchange is halted for more than three hours because of a technical issue
- 2013: Goldman Sachs computers send about 16,000 mis-priced options orders
- 2012: Trading glitch forces Bats Global Markets to withdraw its own IPO on its own exchange
- 2012: Knight Capital loses more than $400 million after a computer trading error
- 2012: Nasdaq fumbles Facebook’s IPO when a computer matching system goes into a loop
- 1987, 1994: Squirrels (twice) chew into crucial cables used for trading on the Nasdaq exchange
Technology disruptions get a lot more notice when money is involved. A Twitter handle created yesterday named “Robinhood Class Action” already had more than 6,000 followers today.
“When it comes to your money, issues like this are not acceptable” Robinhood said today on Twitter. “If you’re a customer, we’re sending you info on how to contact us so we can work with you directly to address your concerns.”
This story has been updated to include Chime’s outage in 2019.