VISA HAS APOLOGISED for “a service disruption” that led to issues processing payment transactions in Europe, including Ireland.
In a statement released at 10pm, a spokesperson said: “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 apologise 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.”
The spokesperson said the issue was the result of “a hardware failure”, adding: “We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event.”
Large queues had formed at ATMs earlier. A number of customers said their cards would only work in an ATM specific to the bank with which it was registered, while others said some machines were not working at all.
Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and AIB were among the banks affected.
Permanent TSB earlier said that customers’ Visa debit cards could be used at ATMs but may not work in shops or restaurants.
Paymentsense, which provides card machines and online payment services to about 60,000 businesses in Ireland and the UK, earlier said contactless transactions “have a better chance of going through“, adding: “We’d encourage affected customers to try contactless transactions where possible.”