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Wembley Stadium takes rap for Olympic Visa payment balls-up

Visa has ducked a bullet as Wembley took the blame for a fiasco last night in which no food and drink kiosk could accept any card payment.

After a cracking game between Senegal and Uruguay last night at Wembley Stadium, in the first round of the Olympic men's football, I rather fancied some caffeine and saturated fat. Heading bar-wards, I was presented with the biggest queue I've ever seen and a Tannoy announcement that made me giggle.

"We're very sorry to announce that Visa payments are not currently working in the stadium and we can only accept cash," said the nice lady (I'm paraphrasing, but that was her gist). Visa, of course, is the only accepted credit card at any Olympic venue. Doh!

After an hour's wait, I ponied up a crumpled old tenner for two cups of coffee, a Coke and a tub of Pringles (the Olympics has made me much more health-conscious), and got back to my seat just in time for the dirge of God Save the Queen. Team Gee Bee went on to win 3-1, with the octogenarian Ryan Giggs rolling back the years to score his first ever international tournament goal.

Today, Visa ducked a bullet as Wembley took the blame. "During Sunday's Olympic Football fixtures, the Stadium experienced some IT issues which prevented the processing of card payments," a Wembley spokesperson said in a statement. "Wembley owns the IT infrastructure within the stadium and the problem was related to this, and not to Visa's systems.

"Wembley Stadium sincerely apologises to fans who were inconvenienced due to this problem. Wembley also appreciates the support we are receiving from Visa to rectify the problem."

I didn't need any cash myself but there were rumours that the Visa cash points weren't working either, so if you didn't have any of the folding stuff you were bang out of luck. Not even the Olympic athletes and their Visa-packing Samsung Galaxy S3s could get a mozzarella pizza with doughballs.

My colleague Rich had a much more uplifting experience at Friday's opening ceremony. Go read his account of the tech on display, it's ace.

Were you left starving by this latest Olympic shambles? Have you had trouble paying for stuff at other Olympic venues? Leave credit (or debit) where it's due -- in the comments, or on our cashless Facebook page.