02/06/2018 07:33 BST | Updated 02/06/2018 07:47 BST

Visa Apologises To Customers After System Failure Disrupts Card Payments

Services are now at 'full capacity'.

PA Wire/PA Images
Visa services are now operating 'close to normal' after a system failure caused widespread problems

Visa has apologised after a system failure prevented card payments across the UK and Europe on Friday, saying it “fell well short” of expectations. 

The company said on Saturday that its payment system is now operating at “full capacity”.

A statement on the Visa Europe website, posted in the early hours of Saturday, said: “Visa Europe’s payment system is now operating at full capacity, and Visa account holders can now use Visa for any of their purchases and at ATMs, as they normally would.”

The issue was not associated with any unauthorised access or cyber attack, the statement added.

Visa users complained about the issue on social media on Friday evening, which was the result of a hardware failure.

A Visa spokesman said on Friday night: “Earlier today, Visa had a system failure that impacted customers across Europe.

“Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We fell well short of this goal today and we apologise to all of our partners and, most especially, to Visa cardholders.

“Visa cardholders can now use their Visa cards as we are currently operating at close to normal levels.

“The issue was the result of a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event.”

HSBC’s UK Twitter account replied to a customer query on Twitter: “We believe there may have recently been issues with Visa’s payments processing.

“From what we understand there are still intermittent issues but services are slowly recovering.”

It is understood the Bank of England was in touch with Visa about the problem.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said the issue will have been a “huge inconvenience to customers” and said Visa and the banks need to ensure no-one is left out of pocket.

“We strongly advise people to keep any evidence of extra expenses they’ve incurred in order to claim them back,” she said.