Card payments network Visa is currently experiencing a widespread outage with millions of customers unable to use their cards across the UK and Europe.
This is the network that processes transactions for a number of banks as well thousands of small and large businesses.
The scale of the issue is currently unclear with Visa currently “investigating” the problem which was sparked at around 4pm on Friday.
A statement from Visa told The Mirror: “Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption.”
“This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed.
“We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.”
Mastercard payments are not affected and all payments are operating normally.
“We are seeing nothing abnormal on our network right now,” a spokesman said.
A number of businesses that use Visa to process payments are currently unable to accept money
Sainsbury’s shoppers have reported failed transactions – with many unable to process any payments by card
Asda is also experiencing technical difficulties across contactless and chip and pin card payments
Disappointed shoppers have been unable to purchase items using chip and pin machines with many reporting failed transactions at major supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi, who pay Visa to manage card payments.
Mirror Money contacted all three retailers for a comment.
Asda told us it is experiencing difficulties in ‘some’ stores intermittently.
Another customer on twitter told us “it’s chaos” in Asda’s Bolton branch.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told The Mirror: “We are aware that Visa are currently experiencing problems. We are doing our best to help our customers and apologise for any inconvenience.”
Card payments solutions company Paymentsense said “all merchants nationwide” are affected and unable to process transactions.
At petrol station when #VISA went down. Bloke b4 me had no cash so they asked him to return+pay tomorrow. Said he would. Asked him 4 his phone 4 insurance. He said no. Asked for his name. He said “dave”. Didn’t take his plate, surname or address. Pretty sure he’s not going back
A Paymentsense alert on twitter said: “There is currently a disruption of service in taking payments from Visa.
“It is affecting all providers across the UK and Ireland.
“We are in touch with Visa to help provide a fix to this, and we’ll issue and update via our social channels and email as soon we have one”.
Failed transactions across the UK and Ireland
Watch: How does a Visa transaction work?
Customers across the UK and Ireland have been left unable to make card purchases – in a move that could cost businesses millions of pounds in revenue.
No warning was issued to customers ahead of the outage while Visa says it is currently ‘investigating’ the problem, the exact cause of which remains unknown.
In some cases, customers said they thought they’d run out of money after seeing their cards bounce.
This was the scene at Aldi in Greenbank Road, Plymouth, this afternoon with shoppers describing queues as “mental”.
Elsewhere, New Look also appears to be experiencing technical difficulties on card payments.
The fashion house has declined to comment on how widespread the problem is across stores nationwide.
Customers have tweeted that they’ve been unable to buy items in store at New Look
If you’re hoping to make a payment, you may have to withdraw cash instead
Anyone hoping to enter the National Lottery tonight may be left disappointed
One customer told The Mirror it found out about the outage after having his First Direct card bounce in Costco.
Meanwhile Lloyds Bank said it’s investigating the matter after receiving complaints about declined payments.
“We’ve received some reports from customers experiencing issues using their cards this afternoon & are currently investigating,” a statement read.
Anyone heading out tonight is being advised to withdraw cash beforehand to avoid disappointment if you’re looking to make a card payment.
The outage comes just a month after a TSB crash that left millions without access to their money after an IT migration went wrong.