Saturday 20 July 2019

Bank of Ireland customers hit by 'failing' cards

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Customers of Bank of Ireland have been hit with a problem using their debit cards.

The bank said that about one-in-seven customers was finding their Visa cards refused when using them to pay at point-of-sale machines.

There were also difficulties for some customers using their cards to withdraw money from ATMs.

Holidaymakers reported being stuck abroad and unable to use their debit cards or withdraw cash with them.

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said: "Bank of Ireland is leaving customers high and dry again as ATM and point-of-sale transactions are failing for some.

"There are reports of Irish people abroad who can't pay hotel bills and are now in danger of missing their flights. This is happening all too often."

One consumer said he filled his van at a filling station in Galway. His card was declined and he rang the bank. He was left on hold for 20 minutes.

"I was mortified waiting in the filling station to get through and, fortunately, the girls trusted me to send a cheque in the post," he said.

"Do we need to rethink our means of access to money and maybe revert more to cash, or will we be a cashless society with more embarrassing situations happening to people like me and others in the future?"

Bank of Ireland said it was aware some customers were having intermittent issues with debit card point-of-sale and ATM transactions.

By yesterday evening, the bank said its cards were working again and it apologised.

The latest outage comes weeks after a meltdown of the Visa payments system saw people unable to use Visa debit and credit cards in this country and across Europe.

There was close to 10 hours of disruption for consumers. Visa maintained that the issue was a system failure, and not due to hacking.

Irish Independent

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