Netizen 24 IRL: Visa debit and credit card problems halt spending in Ireland and abroad

Posted by On 11:23 AM

Visa debit and credit card problems halt spending in Ireland and abroad

CONOR POPE, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

The bank holiday weekend plans of thousands of Irish consumers have been thrown into disarray after the apparent collapse of Visa’s card payment systems across Europe.

People attempting to make payments using Visa credit and debit cards are being told that their transactions cannot be completed as a result of the as yet unexplained service disruption.

While some Visa cards are still working in ATMs, there are fears that if the outage is prolonged long queues will form and machines will quickly run out of money ahead of the long weekend.

In a statement, Visa said it was “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.”

Mastercard said its payment network was operating normally. “We are seeing nothing abnormal on our network right now,” a spokesman said.

People shopping in some of the largest retailers in the State including Tesco, Arnotts, Supervalu and Next said that their cards had been declined completel y or payments only went through after multiple attempts.

“We are aware customers are experiencing Visa debit card issues. This is impacting multiple banks across Europe. We will update when we know more,” Bank of Ireland told users who contacted it via Twitter.

Permanent TSB tweeted that there “is currently an error affecting Visa Debit And Credit Cards across all banks. Apologies for any inconvenience this is causing. We will update once the issue has been resolved.”

Meanwhile, AIB said: “We are aware of intermittent issues with AIB cards today. We are working to resolve the matter and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The problem is Europe-wide and Irish tourists have found themselves struggling to access money or buy goods and services in multiple countries.

In Spain, the Guardia Civil has been reassuring people affected via Twitter. Under a picture of Johnny Depp as a Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean the force said: “Stay calm. If you can’t pay it’s not because you’ve been robbed or hacked. Visa is suffering a service crash in Europe that’s stopping payments going through in its cards.”

Back in Dublin, staff at the Mongo lian Barbecue restaurant in Dublin’s Temple Bar told The Irish Times: “We had lots of peoples’ cards rejected. We thought it was our machine or internet’s fault at first, very embarrassing! Had to ask people to go to an ATM.”

Paymentsense, which offers merchant services to over 60,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland, tweeted: “Visa has advised us that they are having issues with its authorisation service since 14:36pm which may cause intermittent authorisation call failures & time outs.”

In a subsequent tweet the company said it had been informed “that VISA has corrected the outage and transactions are now starting to go through. There is still some intermittency however, we believe this is due to a backlog of transactions”.

When contacted a spokeswoman for Visa Ireland could not confirm the veracity of the tweet.

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