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Full explanation of our outage on 20 March 2024

What happened, what we’ve learned, and how we’ll make sure it can’t happen again.

Last week we put the Chip app into maintenance mode between 09:25 and 17:27 to resolve a technical issue.

We want to thank our community for their patience and support, and as part of our commitment to transparency with you, we promised a full explainer. Please find it below.    

Short explanation

We made a change to a system which had the unintended consequence of causing customer balances to display incorrectly in the app. We put the app into maintenance mode as we worked to fix the issue.  

What happened in detail

Overnight on 19 March 2024 we deployed a change to Chip with the intention of improving the performance and speed of the app, but there was an unforeseen bug in the code which was not picked up by our testing procedures.  

Whilst the code behind the change was tested extensively in our quality assurance (QA) and testing environment (ie a dummy version of Chip we use to check changes), when it was deployed to the live production version of the Chip app (ie the app all customers use) it caused the front end (ie the part of Chip that you see) of our app to incorrectly display balances from our central database.

I’d like to emphasise that this bug was visual only and did not actually affect any customer balances, only how they were displayed.

As soon as we became aware of the issue early on the morning of 20 March 2024, we promptly put the Chip app into maintenance mode, and our engineering team worked to identify the bug and fix it.

This unfortunately proved highly complex and took several hours. We needed to make 100% sure that all balances in the front end accurately reflected the deposits, interest accruals and investment performance that were still processing in the background.

Full service was restored at 17:27 on 20 March 2024.

I appreciate both the error and the lengthy outage was both inconvenient and stressful for many of our customers, and I’d like to extend a sincere apology on behalf of the team at Chip. We understand the impact that incidents like this can have and take them extremely seriously.

We would like to reaffirm that all money held with Chip remains protected with our banking and investment partners as per usual and no balances were affected (learn more here).

What we’ve learned and how we’re improving

Having identified the underlying cause we have now improved our testing and QA processes, specifically around how any code changes interact with our central customer database for the live app, so a balance display issue like this cannot happen again.

Incidents of this nature are few and far between at Chip, but I’m very proud of how the team handled it, with everyone calmly and professionally working to fix it as quickly as possible.

Whilst our main aim is that we never face another major incident like this, across the business we’ve learned a lot about what to do should an outage like this happen again.

On top of our tech QA changes, there are a number of improvements we’ve made to our incident plans across operations, customer support and communications should we ever face another service interruption on this scale. Essentially, we’ve learned a lot from this and at every level, Chip has become more robust and ready to keep building the wealth app for our generation.

To wrap up, I'd like to take a moment to thank our community for your patience and support, both on social media and with the kind messages sent to our customer support team. The level of helpful support and understanding you all extended to the Chip team was a great reminder of how you are the secret to Chip’s success. As we always say, Chip is your wealth app, and we’re building it for you, with you.