Card payments down: problems with card payments today as supermarkets hit by forced to accept cash only

Customers have faced payment chaos at major UK retailers, leaving some stores cash-only 💳
  • Technical issues have affected card payments, leading some supermarkets to accept cash only
  • Customers experienced frustration as they were unable to use cards or saw "cash only" signs in stores
  • Sainsbury’s and Asda apologised for the inconvenience caused by the payment disruptions.
  • The problem was traced to a service disruption from Worldline, a provider processing card payments for retailers
  • Visa and Mastercard confirmed their systems were unaffected, and the issue did not originate from their networks

Customers at Sainsbury’s and Asda were among those affected by technical issues which led to blocked card payments and forced some supermarkets to accept only cash on Thursday (11 July) morning.

The supermarkets apologised to customers who encountered payment problems, acknowledging that some were unable to complete their transactions due to the issue.

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Many individuals expressed frustration on X, formerly known as Twitter, reporting instances where they were unable to use their cards at the checkout or noticed temporary "cash only" signs in stores.

Sainsbury’s informed customers of a widespread card payment problem earlier in the morning, but assured them that the issue had since been resolved.

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A spokesperson said: “Contactless payment is back up and running after being briefly unavailable for a few minutes earlier this morning. This was due to an issue with our third-party payment provider.

“We’re accepting all payments as usual and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The issues appeared to stem from a provider which helps process card payments for some retailers. Worldline said it had experienced a service disruption which meant some retailers may have faced problems processing transactions in store, between about 9am and 10am.

It later said the service had been fully restored but apologised for the temporary outages. Asda also apologised to customers on X who said their local stores were only accepting cash payments in the morning.

Payments firm Visa confirmed that its systems were working normally on Thursday. A spokesperson said: “We are aware that a merchant payment provider reported issues this morning that impacted some cardholders.

“It has been reported that this issue is now resolved. Visa’s systems continue to operate normally.”

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Mastercard also said it was looking into the issue but it did not appear to be coming from a problem with its own systems.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of some payment transaction issues at select merchants in the UK and are working with our partners to gather more information. There is no current indication that these issues are related to our network.”

If you ever find yourself in a situation where card or contactless payments are not working, and you don’t have cash on you, there are a couple of steps you can take.

If nearby ATMs are functioning, you can withdraw cash, but in some cases, businesses may allow you to make a payment through alternative means or hold items for a short period until the issue is resolved.

The problems are the latest in a line of technical issues affecting banking firms and digital payments in recent months. Last month, outages affecting the UK’s network meant that some people were unable to send and receive payments through online and mobile banking.

Were you affected by the recent card payment issues at Sainsbury’s, Asda, or other stores? Share your experience in the comments section.

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