Credit Cards

Visa apologises after system crash causes card payment chaos in Europe

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  • Jun 3rd, 2018 4:25 am
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[OP]
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Apr 23, 2017
1176 posts
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Visa apologises after system crash causes card payment chaos in Europe

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/ ... ment-chaos

Millions of people were left unable to pay for goods and services in shops, petrol stations and railway stations across Britain and Europe after an unprecedented crash in Visa’s payment system that lasted for several hours and involved all Visa cards issued by all Visa-issuing banks - both credit cards and debit cards. Chip and pin transactions were affected, but ATM withdrawals were not. American Express and Mastercard were running a normal service throughout.

Shoppers and travellers were unable to use their debit and credit cards when the meltdown began at around 2.30pm on Friday across Europe. Problems were mostly resolved by 10:30pm.

Visa apologised for the hardware failure late on Friday. The company said it had fallen “well short” of its goal to ensure cards worked reliably at all times, but assured customers that Visa is now operating at “close to normal levels”.

A Visa spokesman said: “Earlier today, Visa had a system failure that impacted customers across Europe. Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We fell well short of this goal today and we apologise to all of our partners and, most especially, to Visa cardholders. This was a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event."


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Best not to have cards only from one bank (or one payment association) when traveling.
5 replies
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
2452 posts
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peanutz wrote: Always have some cash on you.
I typically don't but I have MC, VISA, AMEX credit cards at least 2 bank/credit union debit cards, 2 x US bank debit VISA&MC, and a European prepaid VISA debit card - and yes, even cheques/checks.
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User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15828 posts
21576 upvotes
Vancouver
peanutz wrote: Always have some cash on you.
This. I remember about 20 years ago the payment network went down in Vancouver for about 45 minutes and nobody could use any credit or debit cards. I was in the grocery store at the time and had cash. I got to go to the front of the line, while most other shoppers were stuck unable to buy their food. Some of them actually looked panicked. The the 45 outage caused such a disruption that it was the top story on the local TV news that evening. Since then I have always carried at least $100 in cash with me at all times. And this was 20 years ago, I can't imagine how much worse it would be today with so many people carrying no cash.

It's easy to believe that the electronic payment networks will always be up and running and as reliable as the sun rising and setting, but we are fooling ourselves if we really believe this.
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2017
1358 posts
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Kiraly wrote: This. I remember about 20 years ago the payment network went down in Vancouver for about 45 minutes and nobody could use any credit or debit cards. I was in the grocery store at the time and had cash. I got to go to the front of the line, while most other shoppers were stuck unable to buy their food. Some of them actually looked panicked. The the 45 outage caused such a disruption that it was the top story on the local TV news that evening. Since then I have always carried at least $100 in cash with me at all times. And this was 20 years ago, I can't imagine how much worse it would be today with so many people carrying no cash.

It's easy to believe that the electronic payment networks will always be up and running and as reliable as the sun rising and setting, but we are fooling ourselves if we really believe this.
Places should also really still keep carbon copiers in their stores as well as a backup
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
844 posts
382 upvotes
Vancouver
Didn't even notice it went down while I was in Paris and London on Friday.
But I do always carry at least a bit of cash with me anyway, just to be safe.

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