Now fixed: Visa outage disrupted 'millions' of payments in UK and Europe

Visa says the issue has been resolved.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
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You may be having problems with your Visa card.

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If you wanted to use your Visa card to pay for something in the UK and Europe on Friday, you may have had to use cash instead.

Visa announced Friday that it experienced a "service disruption" that prevented transactions from going through. 

As a result, The Guardian reports that millions of people have been unable to pay at shops, gas stations and train stations across the UK and Europe, to the point that lines reportedly built up at gas stations and some supermarket customers were forced to leave their items at the register. The Financial Times reports that many UK ATMs ran out out of money when customers were forced to use cash.

A Visa spokesperson tells CNET the issue was due to a hardware failure. "We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorized access or malicious event," the company added.

Visa says you should be able to use your card now. At around 2:20 p.m. PT, the company sent CNET the following statement:

Earlier today, Visa had a system failure that impacted customers across Europe.  Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  We fell well short of this goal today and we apologize to all of our partners, and most especially, to Visa cardholders.  Visa cardholders can now use their Visa cards as we are currently operating at close to normal levels.

As of 8:32 p.m. PT, Visa added that its European systems were fully functional. "Visa Europe's payment system is now operating at full capacity, and Visa account holders can now use Visa for any of their purchases and at ATMs, as they normally would," the company wrote.

Here are some of the tweets from banks and retailers earlier in the day:

Read more at ZDNet: Visa transactions hit by service outage

First published June 1, 9:36 a.m. PT.

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