Thousands of businesses impacted by Tyro EFTPOS outage urged to register to class action

Thousands of businesses impacted by Tyro EFTPOS outage urged to register to class action

Christine Hera-Singh found it difficult to keep her bakery along the Great Ocean Road afloat during Covid-19 lockdowns and border closures.

The mum-of-one had pinned her hopes on the Christmas rush in late 2020 and early 2021 and for a while, her South Australian-based business, Meningie Bakery, was flourishing.

But then in January last year, the bakery’s credit card terminals stopped working for two weeks straight.

“It hit dead around the Christmas break, we had customers walking out, they didn’t have cash, it was an absolute nightmare,” Ms Hera-Singh told

It turned out the company that she rented her EFTPOS machines from, Tyro, had experienced a national outage that lasted for a fortnight.

Overall, Ms Hera-Singh estimates she lost $60,000 from the two week outage.

Across the country, at least 11,000 companies were impacted — the majority of them small businesses like hers.

Now, 18 months since the malfunction, outraged merchants have fought back by launching a class action against Tyro.

According to a notice from the Federal Court, affected business owners now have three months to register their case if they hope to receive compensation in the event they win the lawsuit. The registrations opened last week at and close on October 30.

Ms Hera-Singh said: “We were losing heaps of customers. We were left in this huge dilemma.

“I’m a small business owner, it’s hard.”

The baker explained how the Covid-19 outbreak meant that society had gone largely cashless, making it even harder to survive during those two weeks.

By way of compensation, she said Tyro waived the rent on her machines for a month — which wasn’t nearly enough.

Her terminals stopped working on January 7 and only came back online by January 21, a whole 14 days later.

Across Australia, outages were first reported from January 5 due to a glitch in the coding and it took until late that month for all machines to operate normally again.

In a statement to, Tyro did not acknowledge the class action law suit but said it had introduced a compensation program to make up for the financial losses.

“Following the terminal connectivity incident experienced in January 2021, Tyro has conducted a remediation program whereby all impacted merchants have been contacted directly by Tyro and given the opportunity to claim any financial losses caused by the connectivity incident,” a spokesperson said.

Bannister Law started the class action in October last year and Court House Capital is funding the case.

According to Bannister Law, most affected businesses lost between $5,00 to $40,000 from the outage, but there were several outliers like Ms Hera-Singh’s bakery. Some businesses that had multiple machines lost as much as $100,000.

Charles Bannister, Principal at Bannister Law, told should businesses fail to register in the next three months, they wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation if his firm won the court case.

“The outage occurred during a crucial period, being a time when everyone had come out of lockdowns and there was a general reluctance to accept cash,” he told

“That merchants were unable to use their EFTPOS machines for days or weeks was, for many merchants, catastrophic.

“There are approximately 11,000 businesses affected by this outage. If they do not register, they will not be entitled to receive a share of the proceeds of any funds received should the proceedings settle, subject to Court approval.”

Last week, a whopping 11,000 letters were sent out to the impacted business owners inviting them to register.

Another impacted business was Highett RSL, in Melbourne’s southeast, which estimated it lost around $10,000.

Gavin Williams, the pub’s general manager, said the timing couldn’t have been worse as Melbourne had just come out of their four month lockdown in the winter of 2020 and they needed to recoup their losses.

“There were obviously lockdowns and all that in Melbourne that was going on,” he told

“People wanted to use credit cards and EFTPOS cards, [but by then] all our signage was to use your cards.”

Before Covid he estimates that half of his customers used cash while the other half used cards but the pandemic changed that. Around 70 per cent of customers now use cards, making it harder for people to buy drinks when credit card machines were down.

I paid $49 per month for an EFTPOS terminal and this fee was waived for the month of January.

To date, that is the only compensation the business has received, he said.