System update causes brief outage on Visa network

Forty-minute disruption in the U.S. unrelated to recent security breach at Global Payments, a Visa representative tells the AP.

A Visa network update briefly prevented some customers in the United States from using their credit and debit cards to pay for purchases today.

A company representative told the Associated Press that the outage was caused by a recent system update, but that the system was now operating normally. The 40-minute outage began at 11:40 a.m. PT, an unidentified banking industry source told the AP.

A Visa customer told CNET that he tried to use his credit card to pay for a fill-up at a Boston-area gas station around 12:30 p.m. PT but couldn't complete the transaction. He said another attempt with the same card a few minutes later was approved.

Visa spokeswoman Sandra Chu said the outage was unrelated to the security breach that Global Payments recently suffered. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that 50,000 credit and debit cardholders may have had their personal information exposed as a result of a security breach.

It's unclear whether fraudulent charges on cardholders have been racked up yet, but MasterCard and Visa have sent out notices to their customers who may have been affected informing them of the possible risk.

Global Payments is scheduled to hold a conference call on Monday morning. Check back with CNET for full coverage.

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