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UK politicians round on Visa over breakdown

05 June 2018  |  5433 views  |  3 credit card

UK politicians are calling Visa to account for the hardware failure on Friday that left people across the UK and Europe unable to use their cards to pay for goods and services.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the cross-party Treasury Committee, has written to Visa chief Charlotte Hogg to find out what went wrong, how Visa will ensure that a similar failure doesn’t happen again, and whether customers or merchants will be entitled to compensation.

Says Morgan: "A third of all spending in the UK is processed by Visa. It’s deeply worrying, therefore, that such a vital part of the country’s payment infrastructure can fail so catastrophically.

"The consequences were sudden and severe. Many consumers and businesses were left stranded on Friday, unable to make or accept payments, with chaos reported in shops."

She says that if the Committee is not satisfied with the answers received by Hogg, the Visa chief will be hauled before Parliament to give evidence in person.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 June, 2018, 18:02

Hurrah!  Despite all the assurances given by the Card Schemes as to how reliable and bullet proof their systems are, it's not as robust as they led us to believe and this highlights the dependency that we all have on card payments. If history is anything to go by, I doubt merchants will receive any compensation for the inconvenience, customer frustration, lost sales, product wastage or staff costs returning items to the shelves or discarding thawing frozen food as a result of customers simply abandoning their trolleys and I suspect if they (or customers for that matter) were offered anything it'd be derisory. Far better to levy a hefty fine - which is coincidentally what the Schemes do for merchant non-compliance to their procedures and policies!

I wonder what the authorities would do in Sweden if this were to happen there and where cash accounts for less than 10% of sales and a lot of merchants only accept card payments? Time to rethink!

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 June, 2018, 20:16

It has not been easy to resist thinking that stories from leaving members of staff who predicted that this sort of thing woudl occur had any substance. It has been much easier to dismiss such predictions as simply the product of disgruntled, dishillusioned leavers. Now I have to question whether this was all hype and that this was a 'one-off' and will. never be repeated; or whether the doom-sayers were right and that this is the start of a new type of nightmare.  We will see!

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 06 June, 2018, 19:11

What happened to mobile wallet fintechs who have been claiming for nearly 10 years that they'd kill credit cards?

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