The error meant that Ica shoppers on Thursday or Friday were unknowingly charged the same amount twice. While the in-store transactions would have appeared normal, a second withdrawal was taken from the card after, which showed up on the bank statement but not the Ica receipt.
The CEO of Ica, Jörgen Wennberg, confirmed that the mix-up hit 445,000 exchanges nationwide.
“We still don’t know how many accounts though, but it is a frightful number of transactions. There’s no denying it, we have made a mistake,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The double withdrawals affected customers from several banks, even though it was initially believed to only be members of Swedbank.
“That’s apparently what happened, something we didn’t realize from the beginning. The initial verdict we got from Swedbank was that it was only their customers affected, but that was incorrect,” he added.
As the incident was noticed on a weekend, when banks are closed in Sweden, it was harder to determine which banks were hit.
Wennberg said that the absolute priority was to work on getting the money back to customers, followed by an investigation into whether the mistake was human or machine made.
While Swedbank customers all were refunded on Sunday, the head of the bank alterted customers from other banks that they should get their money returned during Monday. Any Swedbank customers whose account balance went below zero in the exchanges will not be fined.