A system failure has plunged Europe into turmoil, as millions across the continent couldn’t use their Visa credit and debit cards for several hours on June first from 2.30 PM. The chip and pin transactions were reportedly blocked as Visa couldn’t proceed a confirmation message. Cardholders could neither get cash at ATMs nor pay with a Visa. This caused confusion and turmoil as people reportedly had to wait in lines in shops, petrol stations and railway stations, while their staff had no clue about the reason for rejected payments. The company fixed the blackout by the late evening; however, there were still delays due to an overflow of payments the company had to confirm.
Visa has apologized for the failure that caused mass inconvenience to its customers, both shoppers and partners.
Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to a systems failure, we fell well short of this today. We apologise to all our partners & especially to Visa cardholders. We’re currently operating at close to normal levels. https://t.co/OiZh0fFF2K— VisaNewsEurope (@VisaNewsEurope) 1 июня 2018 г.
According to the company’s statement, “The issue was the result of a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorized access or malicious event.”
The outage has angered and discouraged cardholders, who brought their feelings on social media. The end of the world was eventually brought up.
Sad scenes today at the corner shop where I had to leave my Freddo Chocolate bar at the till because #Visa cards were not working so I couldn't pay the 20p 😪— Shuj (@ChocMilkSheikh) 1 июня 2018 г.
Went to buy fish and chips and could not pay. #VISA down. Packing my bags and preparing for the end of the world. Heading north… if you get this message there are other survivors.— Simon Jackson (@Nim0n) 1 июня 2018 г.
A bunch of Tweets were calls to spare the salesmen from both anger and bad jokes.
My heart goes out to all the retail workers having to put up with customers kicking off #visa— 🌸 Alice 🌸 (@Alliicceee) 1 июня 2018 г.
Now that #Visa has stopped working dads at checkouts all around the nation are simultaneously saying "Does that make it free then?"— Daniel Walsh (@DanielWalsh12) 1 июня 2018 г.
While #Visa payments are down, we should spare a thought for all the retail workers who will have to feign amusement as every customer without fail remarks that they 'guess it must be free then'.— Ryan Barrett (@Ryanbrrtt) 1 июня 2018 г.
Some complained about being charged sometime after they already paid in cash.
My card wasn’t working today, it declined the payments,i have paid shopkeepers cash but now i can see that i have been charged on my visa card. I ended up payong double for my grocery thats not fair— Qudsiakiran (@qudsiakiran) 1 июня 2018 г.
My card was tried twice in Boots and declined but the money has still left my bank. How and when will that money be returned to my account????— Andrea Manzie (@andreamanzie) 2 июня 2018 г.
Others were humorous about the mishap.
Can’t refill car and dumped it on central reservation of motorway. Have set fire to it so noone will steal it and am now walking north, into the wind, with nothing but a torch, a sharp stick and Murray mints for sustenance. Advise others do same #Visa— Anthony Pearson (@ANTH0NYPEARS0N) 1 июня 2018 г.
Others used the outage as an opportunity to promote Bitcoin.
Best time to use bitcoin!— Bitcoin Gold Mine (@BTGMine) 2 июня 2018 г.
There were those who didn’t believe Visa’s “system failure” explanation.
Can you please give more details on what failed? Was it a hardware problem? What are you doing to avoid this in the future?— Alexandru Patranescu (@drealecs) 1 июня 2018 г.
I was lucky to have cash with me but I would like to understand the risk further.