June 01, 2018
Millions left unable to pay in shops, petrol stations and railway stations across UK
Visa apologises after system crash causes card payment chaos
Millions of people were 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 apologised for the hardware failure late on Friday. The company said it had fallen “well short” of its goal to ensure cards worked reliably at all times, but assured customers that Visa is now operating at “close to normal levels”.
A Visa spokesman said: “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.”
Major retailers had earlier confirmed that card purchases were failing, as queues built up at petrol stations, with frustrated drivers unable to pay after filling up.
Marks & Spencer said: “We are unable to accept Visa card payments currently. No retailers are able to accept Visa cards.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson added: “We are aware that Visa are currently experiencing problems. We are doing our best to help our customers and apologise for any inconvenience.” However, some customers were simply dumping their shopping at the tills.
Mastercard and cash machine transactions continued as usual but for bank customers with Visa cards only there was deep frustration.
Lisa Eagleton-Muir, 44, had come to London to audition for the Great British Sewing Bee but could not buy any food at King’s Cross station for the train back to Newcastle.
“I’ve only got two cards and they’re both Visa. I tried to buy my tea in M&S and a cafe but they were both rejected. I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s a long journey home with no food.” Luckily she was able to withdraw money from the a cash machine.
Paperchase in the station was among many retailers that said it had stopped taking card payments following repeated cancellations.
Others tweeted to vent their anger.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain Asda said problems with payments had been happening in stores across the country sporadically from 3pm on Friday. Some payments were going through but some were not, he said. Customers were told that cash was the best way to pay.
“When you try to pay something, it sends a message to Visa and then Visa have to send a message back to the chip and pin machine to say this is OK and then the banks are in between at some point. The message that is coming back to the chip and pin, that is where the fault is,” the spokesman said.
“We are advising customers that cash is the best way to buy your shopping because you can still get cash out with [a] debit card,” he said. It is not clear how many shoppers have been affected.
The train operator GWR said its ticket booths and vending machines were not able to accept Visa cards. A spokesman said that onboard train staff were aware of the problem and it was possible for passengers to buy tickets on the train with cash.
However, as the meltdown continued, he said: “We encourage passengers to use cash to buy tickets at ticket offices or the machines before they travel. We are taking steps to make ticket buying as easy as possible for passengers at this time.”
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.”
In Spain, the Guardia Civil sent a tweet aimed at reassuring those affected by the system failure. Beneath a picture of Johnny Depp as a shocked Captain Jack Sparrow, the force said: “Stay calm. If you can’t pay it’s not because you’ve been robbed or hacked. Visa is suffering a service crash in Europe that’s stopping payments going through in its cards.”
Bank customers in the UK were still able to obtain cash from ATMs but with workers heading home for the weekend queues began to build up at cash machines.
A spokesperson for Royal Bank of Scotland said: “We are aware that some customers are experiencing issues using their debit cards. We apologise to customers for the inconvenience and we are working with our suppliers to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Customers are still able to access cash through the ATM network.”
Paymentsense, which provides merchant services to more than 60,000 independent businesses across the UK and Ireland, tweeted: “Visa has advised us that they are having issues with its authorisation service since 14:36pm which may cause intermittent authorisation call failures & time outs.”
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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