I've written before about the need to have a "cash stash" for emergencies. As far as I'm concerned, that also means carrying with me enough cash for a day-to-day emergency like paying in cash for something I'm buying, in case the power goes out and card machines stop working. I try to keep a couple of hundred dollars in my wallet, just in case.
It looks as if that would come in very handy across Europe right now.
Millions of people have been left unable to pay for goods and services in shops, petrol stations and railway stations across Britain and Europe after an unprecedented crash in Visa’s payment system.
Shoppers and travellers were unable to use their debit and credit cards when the meltdown began at around 2.30pm on Friday across Europe.
Visa issued a statement saying it was experiencing “a service disruption”, without identifying the cause.
. . .
Major retailers confirmed that card purchases were failing, as queues built up at petrol stations, with frustrated drivers unable to pay after filling up.
. . .
Mastercard and cash machine transactions continued as usual but for bank customers with Visa cards only there was deep frustration.
. . .
It is understood the Bank of England immediately contacted Visa to find out when its system would be back up and running. One banking industry source said: “There is never a good time for the payments system to go down but a Friday afternoon, when there is a flood of people leaving work, must be among the worst.”
There's more at the link.
Proof, yet again, that there's nothing to beat a method of payment that doesn't rely on electrical power at the point of sale!