Apple Takes a Bite Out of Hungarian Bank Accounts

Jul 5, 2024


Following a large-scale incident that saw over $5 million erroneously charged by Apple Pay to Hungarian customers’ accounts, the central bank has ordered local lenders to immediately reimburse those affected.

Reuters report the incident caused around 780,000 mistaken transactions, totalling more than 2 billion forints ($5.43 million), and attribute it to ‘a technical glitch at the international bank card partner of Apple’s online store.’

Apple Insider reports that one user experienced 74 unauthorised transactions ‘totalling well over $1,500’ that appeared to be linked to cancelled subscriptions, with some also matching amounts taken for previous App Store purchases the customer had made.

The National Bank of Hungary was ‘not satisfied with the pace of current procedures’ in place to compensate customers and ordered financial service providers to begin reimbursements immediately. It added that it will launch ‘an in-depth inquiry’ into whether Hungarian banks’ handling of the matter has been conducted according to current regulations.

This comes hot on the heels of Apple announcing ‘Apple Cash’, intended to be a digital replacement for exchanging banknotes and coins. Aside from the limitation that Apple Pay must be supported in a store to enable spending of this digital money, and the requirements of a steady internet connection and a charged iPhone, the recent payment blunder is a reminder of unique benefits offered by cash: it doesn’t crash or glitch, it can’t be hacked, and it won’t surprise anyone with unexpected charges—whether in the form of intended transaction fees or unintended, accidental charges.

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2024