Outages at UK banks and card processors stop Brits paying in their tracks

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 12 June 2019

Digital Banking

14% of people found their card unusable at one point in 2018.

Outages at UK banks and card processors stop Brits paying in their tracks
Image source: Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay.

Annoying and embarrassing glitches that stop people paying at the checkout affected one in seven people in the UK last year.

A Which? survey of more than 2,000 people found over 14% had found it impossible to use their card at one point in 2018, while 5% of people had it happen multiple times.

These failures aren’t just embarrassing, they’re also costly, with one in ten people being hit with a financial penalty like a late payment fee as a result of their card being wrongly declined for a payment.

“Digital payments have enhanced many people’s lives – but many still rely on cash and all of us risk being shut out of paying for goods and services when technology lets us down,” said Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?

The survey comes as part of Which?’s larger campaign against the closure of cashpoints (220 free-to-use ATMs closed monthly in 2018) and bank branches which are leaving people unable to access their money.

This news comes a year after the Visa IT meltdown which stopped card payments across Europe.

Last month Which? reported that of all the IT incidents flagged with the FCA (302 between April and December 2018), Barclays saw the most major incidents (41), followed by Lloyds (37), Halifax/Bank of Scotland (31), NatWest (26), RBS (21) and Ulster Bank (18).

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