Shoppers keen to avoid that personal touch have been faced with multi-day card payment problems at UK grocery giants Morrisons and the Co-Op.
The glitches kicked off on Sunday as some stores struggled to process payments. Worryingly, the issues persisted through Monday and, as of today, those seeking to tap a card in exchange for produce might be in for a disappointment.
Hi Adam, our payment processing provider is working to correct an intermittent issue which has prevented a very small number of customer transactions from being processed. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Regards. ^Abid— Co-op (@coopuk) January 26, 2021
The affected retailers, Morrisons and the Co-Op, have remained open to keep customers topped up in the essential shopping department during the ongoing pandemic, and paying by contactless card has become a reassuring option for those reluctant to indulge in hand-to-coin exchanges.
Major issues with debit/credit card payments this afternoon at @morrisons. No issues with @marksandspencer. What’s the deal? Long delays in transaction speed, some requiring two or three attempts. Apparently worse with certain banks 🤔— Caroline Coram (@CarolineCoramUK) January 25, 2021
Sadly, paying by cash has become a requirement for some as self-service check-outs have been slapped with "No Contactless" signs and transaction times have stuttered to a standstill.
The issues appear to be with the payment system in use by the stores, provided by "Mission Critical Real-Time Payments" specialist, ACI Worldwide. The company boasts of executing $14 trillion in payments and securities transactions per day. Except, it appears, for some those seeking to stock up on a bargain or two from Morrisons or the Co-op.
A spokesperson for ACI told The Register: "Customer relationships and the stability of our systems remain an absolute priority for ACI Worldwide. We are working closely with the IT teams at our partners to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. We apologize to shoppers for any inconvenience caused."
Neither of the retailers involved immediately responded to our queries, but the issues appear to be ongoing at present. ®
* Total Inability To Swerve User Paw-prints
Updated at 15.01GMT on 26 January
A Co-op spokesperson got in touch to with a statement following publication of this article. "All card transactions are being processed as usual and our payment process partner is investigating after we experienced an intermittent issue. We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused during that time."