Visa Hiring Third Party To Look Into UK Payment Outage

18. June 2018.

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Visa is gearing up to hire an outside party to investigate an outage in the U.K. of its card payment services.

According to a report in CityAM.com, Charlotte Hogg, Visa’s Europe chief executive, wrote in a letter to the Treasury Select Committee that Visa is undertaking a “rigorous internal review” as well as having a third party investigate the matter.

Earlier this month, Visa suffered an eight-hour outage that created problems for merchants around the U.K. and beyond. The payments company also said it will reimburse card-issuing banks who made payments to customers as a result of the outage, and will waive the fees on the transactions that failed to complete.

According to the report, Hogg blamed the outage on a “partial degradation in our processing system, and not a cyberhack.” She noted that Visa isn’t sure why the processing system failed. “A disruption to our processing that impacts consumers at any time is unacceptable, let alone during a busy Friday afternoon,” Hogg said.

The report noted that Treasury Select Committee MPs were happy with what Hogg had to say in the letter, and that she will likely not have to testify before Parliament. Hogg has faced criticism in the past from the committee. She was forced to resign from her past job as the head of the Bank of England for not disclosing a conflict of interest.

Visa has two separate stand-alone data centers in the U.S. that can handle all the payments for Europe when one fails. However, the hardware that switches transactions to the back-up server failed, which caused a backlog of messages and slowed down the processing of transactions, Visa said, according to the report. The payments company noted that it had to manually clean up the backlog, resulting in the payment system being taken offline for hours.

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