Visa experiences substantial outages across Europe

06th June 2018
Contributor:
Robbie MacDiarmid
Robbie MacDiarmid

On Friday June 1st 2018, merchants across Europe got a shock when a “hardware fault” from the Visa Europe processing centre meant many merchant’s terminals stopped accepting payments.

In countries such as the UK, Ireland and Spain, for whom Visa makes up as much as 85% of all credit and debit card spend, this had a significant impact on operations – with many merchants forced to accept cash only payments from customers.

However, merchants in some European countries suffered less of an impact due to the structure of local debit schemes that do not rely solely on the global card schemes to process payments. Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Belgium all have alternative national networks that handle the “switch” process for most debit card transactions. While these cards are co-badged with either Visa or Mastercard branding to allow for universal acceptance, they are not reliant on the major schemes to process transactions and often offer merchants a more competition pricing option. Domestic networks are almost universally less expensive than larger, international alternatives like Visa and Mastercard.

This latest outage from Visa sparks a debate: could (and should) Europe expand domestic networks? Let us know what you think and if you were affected by the outage.

This latest outage from Visa sparks a debate: could (and should) Europe expand domestic networks? Let us know what you think and if you were affected by the outage.

Were you affected by the outage?