UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Credit card giant Visa has returned to work on Saturday after a crash that caused a night of squalor in which thousands of customers were unable to pay their bills in bars and shops across Europe.
A technical failure at Visa has left thousands of credit card holders stranded for their inability to pay their purchases, while others have been forced to line up at ATMs.
“Visa reached a solution to a technical problem that occurred yesterday in Europe and prevented some customers from paying Visa,” the company said in a statement at 4:32 pm (04:32 GMT), 12 hours after the problem was reported.
“The Visa card payment system in Europe is now fully functional, and Visa account holders can now use the Visa to pay for their purchases and at ATMs as they normally do.”
The company said the crisis was a hardware failure and “not linked to any unauthorized access or attack.”
The CEO of Visa, Alfred Kelly, apologized for any “inconvenience” caused by the crash. “Our goal is to ensure that all Visa payments are made reliably 24 hours a day and 365 days a year,” he said.
A spokesman for the company told Agence France Presse on Friday evening that it was not possible to determine the number of customers affected by the disruption of service throughout Europe.
But a report by the Association of British Cards indicated in 2017 that Visa holds 97 percent of the continent’s debit cards, meaning that the holidays will likely have a significant financial impact.
The British station “BBC” a picture of a worker in a store in London standing outside the store carrying a sign saying that payment is “cash only.”
The holidays did not disrupt the payment system in Russia, which has a national card system to avoid Western sanctions triggering a financial crisis, state media reported.
France remained isolated from the crisis, according to the French Association of Bankers.