Updated Businesses and punters in Europe are in for a long and frustrating night – after Visa's payment services in the region went TITSUP: a Total Inability To Support Usual Purchases.
The credit card processor confirmed Friday it had suffered an outage and was working on a solution. Right now, you can't buy stuff online or in stores or pubs using Visa cards in Europe.
And although transactions are being denied at sales terminals and in browsers, purchases are still appearing in people's banking accounts, in some cases multiple times. We imagine that will be a little tricky to unravel and undo by the bank system.
"Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption. This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed," Visa Europe said in its statement. "We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation."
Needless to say, the prospect of being unable to properly perform card transactions on a Friday night – and so soon after the end-of-the-month payday – is not going over well with people and businesses, many of whom say they will only be accepting cash tonight.
Hello guys! Please bear with us tonight as we are only taking cash, Visa Europe has crashed and is affecting every retail store in Europe! Please be nice to our staff as this is not our or the business fault! Thanks! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/7AR8ZMQxyP— Pie&Ale (@PieandAleMcr) June 1, 2018
If you have an appointment with us this evening, please be aware we can currently only accept MasterCard Amex Cash & Cheque payments owing to a system failure at Visa Europe - sorry for the inconvenience— A Salon Called Fish (@saloncalledfish) June 1, 2018
Visa Europe down on a Friday. Maybe it's time I get a second credit card provider. https://t.co/oRNyCrNnvt— Kenneth Anderson (@Kennethtechguy) June 1, 2018
There does seem to be one bit of good news, though. Folks are reporting that ATM transactions are still working, so people should be able to withdraw cash from their accounts and purchase things the old fashioned way (with little bits of paper and metal) until Visa manages to sort things out. ®
Updated to add
Visa Europe has been in touch to blame a hardware failure for the outage, and that systems should be returning to normal. It's not clear at this stage which equipment fell over, but we note that IBM provides a lot of the payment giant's backend computing gear. If you know for sure what went wrong, please do drop us a note.
Here's Visa's statement in full:
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. Visa cardholders can now use their Visa cards as we are currently operating at close to normal levels. The issue was the result of a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event.