A major Telstra outage which occurred yesterday afternoon saw major retailers, banks and payment systems across the country go offline. 

The outage began at approximately 3pm and forced retailers to have to manually process card payments or accept cash only. Reports suggest that most Telstra customers were back online by 8pm yesterday evening. 

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb told ABC Radio that some retailers may look to seek compensation for losses. 

"[Retailers are] doing their best to work under difficult circumstances but if it does impact their business some of them certainly will be looking for some form of compensation.

"It is certainly becoming a bigger problem now that we are such a cashless society and it is something that we need to continuously plan for," she said. 

Yesterday's outage adds to a list of recent outages Telstra has been experiencing, with RMIT University associate professor Mark Gregory telling ABC Radio that reduced funding for the engineering side of the business is partly to blame for the frequency of outages. 

"We have seen several of these failures recently with Telstra.

"One of the problems that we have in the industry is that there's minimisation of expenditure on the engineering side of the company and to be honest, sometimes the senior management teams are much happier to offer an apology and to say that, 'we're doing something about it but it's not going to happen again,' than to actually spend the money to ensure that this won't happen again," he said. 

Were you impacted by this outage? Leave your comments below. 

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