Hardware failure is reportedly being blamed for a massive Visa outage in the UK and Europe today, resulting in Visa cards being declined for transactions. Apparently, chipped cards were having the most problems making transactions, although online and contactless transactions were also hampered, as wired.com reported earlier in the day.
A Visa spokesperson said in a statement that, “Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption. This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.” Rival payment network MasterCard said on Friday that it was not experiencing outages.
The issue seems to exclusively be affecting UK and European Visa cards, even while being used in other countries.
Rich Dunning, an administrator at the University of Liverpool who is currently working in the US with a colleague, had his card declined.
We’re currently in the US for work and all our Visa work cards were declined, so it looks like the outage seems to be affecting cards being used outside Europe, too. Luckily I had some dollars in cash from earlier and a colleague has a MasterCard so we’re not totally stuck!
Visa has provided no other updates.
Why It Matters
As the world has moved away from cash into the arms of plastic, companies like Visa and Mastercard are becoming integral for global security and order. When there are hiccups in the pipeline of any of the major credit card companies, the chinks in the cashless society armor become evident and nations, necessarily, become uneasy.
This is a developing story, updates will be provided as they become available.