‘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.
Shoppers and travellers were unable to use their debit and credit cards when the meltdown began at around 2.30pm on Friday across Europe.
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.
“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.”
Major retailers had earlier confirmed that card purchases were failing, as queues built up at petrol stations, with frustrated drivers unable to pay after filling up.’