Payment technology has introduced a high degree of convenience for consumers globally. When that technology does not work as advertised, a very problematic scenario ensues. Visa suffered from major outages across Europe for most of the day on Friday. This highlights the need for alternative solutions, including cash and even cryptocurrency.
The Visa Outage in Europe
Consumers and corporations throughout Europe experienced major payment issues on Friday. Anyone trying to conduct transactions through a Visa payment card may have run into problems. Transactions were limited or impossible to complete. Financial institutions even advised consumers to use cash or other payment options. Mastercard was not affected by this issue.
Visa quickly pointed out how online transactions suffered less in this regard. Point-of-sale transactions remained hit-and-miss for most of the day. Using a contactless card for smaller transactions was doable in most cases. All of this shows how prone the financial system is to technical issues.
Events like these often cause unforeseen consequences. Various automated teller machines in the U.K. had their cash reserves depleted in the afternoon. While the issue has been solved, an official explanation has not been provided. The convenience of payment cards only applies when the complex infrastructure powering these payments is working properly. For Visa, that was anything but the case yesterday.
The Need for Cryptocurrency and Cash
Most consumers still keep cash on hand to deal with situations like this. While such outages are very rare, they can happen at any given moment. As such, it seems highly unlikely cash usage will ever be eroded completely. Judging by this latest mishap, that is probably for the best.
Additionally, the Visa issue shows the need for alternative forms of payment as well. Unlike payment cards and cash, cryptocurrencies can save the day during times like these. Despite their volatile nature, numerous payment processors exist to process cryptocurrency transactions regardless of temporary price swings.
Consumers and corporations need to pay attention to these alternatives. Having a steady cash supply on hand is a good measure, but it still requires a suitable payment card to withdraw it from an ATM. Cryptocurrency payments are an option, even though very few retailers accept them today. With issues like this one, that situation may come to change sooner rather than later.
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