Visa reveals over 5m payments affected by June outage
Visa has disclosed that its pan-European outage at the start of this month affected 5.2 million card transactions, almost half of which were in the UK.
As reported earlier this month, Visa said that some card payments were failing across Europe. In the UK, bank customers were still able to obtain cash from ATMs.
On 2 June, Visa resolved this “technical issue”, which “was the result of a hardware failure in one of our European systems and is not associated with any unauthorised access or cyberattack”.
In the latest revelations published today (19 June), the details have come to light in a letter from Visa to a UK parliamentary committee. It’s a common occurrence for these committees to investigate many things.
According to Visa, the issue went on for ten hours from 1 June.
Visa Europe chief executive Charlotte Hogg writes: “Overall, for cards issued both in the UK and elsewhere … 51.2 million Visa transactions were initiated and sent to Visa’s European systems for processing.”
She says: “Of these, 5.2 million failed to process correctly”.
The glitch was the result of a “very rare partial failure” of a switch in one of Visa’s data centres. It has since been fixed.
In terms of the UK, Visa says 27.6 million transactions were made during the outage – and 2.4 million failed to process properly.
“At its peak, the disruption affected people in the midst of returning home from work, socialising in restaurants and pubs, and doing end-of-day shopping,” Hogg explains.
She adds: “Visa, together with our financial institution partners, has quickly implemented a compensation programme for cardholders.”
Also in early June, and just after the outage, Hogg had to begin her presentation at Money20/20 Europe in Amsterdam with an apology for these events.
She reassured customers that there was no cyber breach and went on to note the changing role of payments.