Visa Europe suffers three-day outage at settlement system

Company says technical glitch did not affect ability of consumers to use cards

 There could be Visa card problems early next week, depending on the arrangement with individual banks, if the entire backlog of transactions stalled by the three-day suspension is not processed. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

There could be Visa card problems early next week, depending on the arrangement with individual banks, if the entire backlog of transactions stalled by the three-day suspension is not processed. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

 

Credit card company Visa has suffered a three-day outage in its settlement system.

The company said yesterday it had resolved the technical issue that had caused the unprecedented crash, although there was no detail on how the problem had occurred. However, it is understood that the company was not a victim of a hack or attack from outside.

As of last night, the credit card giant was still struggling to process thousands of payments, both domestic and international, some dating back to Tuesday.

Visa stressed there was no issue with its authorisation platform and that consumers and merchants experienced no difficulty in continuing to use and accept cards for purchases.

“This issue has had no impact on the cardholder use of Visa products or the ability of merchants to accept Visa,” it said in a statement.

“However, it has slowed Visa’s normal process for settlement of funds between our financial institution clients in Europe which is currently being addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Longer lag period

Consumers may notice that there is a longer lag period between a card purchase being made and the item appearing on their account. That could be an issue for people receiving monthly statements in that some items may not appear until their April bill.

For merchants, Visa said they were still receiving money for transactions with no delay.

But there could be problems early next week, depending on the arrangement with individual banks, if the entire backlog of transactions stalled by the three-day suspension is not processed.

Banks have different procedures for the time they allow between authorisation and settlement. In some cases, this is understood to be seven days and, with the weekend intervening, the clock is ticking to ensure all of last Tuesday’s transaction get through the system by the close of business on Monday so that none of these is cancelled leading banks to debit merchant accounts.

Visa advised cardholders or merchants with questions regarding their accounts should contact their bank.