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Visa apologises after payments system crash

Visa has apologised to millions of customers after a hardware failure meant payments could not be processed across the UK and Europe on Friday.

Customers were left unable to pay for goods and services using their cards following the unprecedented crash, which began on Friday afternoon. Those attempting to pay using their cards often found they were declined, although some customers were able to withdraw cash from machines, which led to large queues forming.


Major retailers had earlier confirmed that card purchases were failing. Queues built up at petrol stations and shopping was left at supermarket tills as customers were unable to pay.


In a statement, Visa said it “fell well short” in its service provision to customers, but added there is “no reason to believe” the system failure was “associated with any unauthorised access or cyber attack”.



The payment system provider said its network is “now working normally”. Attempted transactions that did not complete as a result of the issue would not be charged, it said.


Following the failure, Visa Europe’s chief executive Charlotte Hogg, who was forced out of a senior role at the Bank of England little more than a year ago, is likely to face a grilling by MPs from the Treasury Committee.


Hogg was widely tipped to succeed Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England and served as chief operating officer at the bank between 2013 and 2017 before being promoted to deputy governor. However, she left her post after she failed to declare that her brother worked for Barclays, which is regulated by the Bank of England. She took up her role at Visa in October last year.

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