Severe disruption preventing Visa transactions being processed across Europe

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The company also confirmed on Twitter that there's a service disruption in Europe.

Worldpay, the UK's leading payments provider, said: "Customers may be seeing intermittent transaction declines due to an issue Visa is now experiencing in Europe with all acquirers".

A Paymentsense statement said: 'There is now a disruption of service in taking payments from VISA.

The issue affects Visa credit card holders who are trying to pay for items or withdraw cash from ATMs. As declared, they are investigating the cause, and the resolving of the problem is in process.

The outage is believed to relate to United Kingdom customers, but as many of them are overseas for half-term holidays, the impact is being felt right across Europe.

Marks & Spencer said: "We are unable to accept Visa card payments now".

The issue has thankfully been resolved, and Visa has said it was due to a hardware failure.

Visa card payments are failing across the United Kingdom and Europe, with customers in Sheffield also reporting problems.

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"We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorized access or malicious event", Visa said in a statement.

Still, ATM transactions are not affected and so aren't Mastercard and American Express, so consumers have backup payment options.

The spokesman added: "We will attempt card payments and there are certain things we can try at the checkout to get people through".

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.

Companies that facilitate card payments have reported that merchants are struggling to take card payments.

However, a 2017 report by the UK Cards Association reported that Visa debit cards account for 97 per cent of all debit cards, meaning the disruption is likely to have had a large financial impact.

About a third of payments in the United Kingdom are processed by Visa.

According to The Independent, customers received messages telling them there was a "disruption" that meant payment providers are unable to send or receive funds.

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