Irish banks and retailers reported problems with card payments on Friday evening
Visa has experienced a "system failure" that left businesses across Europe - including Ireland - unable to process payments.
On Friday night, Visa said services were returning to normal after several hours of disruption.
In a statement, the payment company said: "Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We fell well short of this goal today and we apologise to all of our partners, and most especially, to Visa cardholders.
"Visa cardholders can now use their Visa cards as we are currently operating at close to normal levels. The issue was the result of a hardware failure."
The company added that it had "no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event".
They had earlier described the issue as a 'service disruption'.
We are currently experiencing a service disruption which is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation. We will keep you updated.— VisaNewsEurope (@VisaNewsEurope) June 1, 2018
There were widespread reports of issues from Irish banks and businesses on Friday evening:
Hi everyone....sorry to ruin the Bank Hol Friday feeling but the #Visa issue is affecting our stores at present. If you have experienced duplicate account debits please contact your card provider directly pic.twitter.com/thzEDP0VNK— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) June 1, 2018
We’re currently having some issues with Visa debit and credit cards this evening. We recommend using an alternative method of payment in stores while this issue is ongoing. Apologies for any inconvenience this is causing. We will update once the issue has been resolved.— Tesco Ireland (@TescoIrl) June 1, 2018
AIB said it was "aware of intermittent issues with AIB cards today."
It said it was working to resolve the matter and apologised for any inconvenience caused.
We are aware of intermittent issues with AIB cards today. We are working to resolve the matter and apologise for any inconvenience caused. pic.twitter.com/Zk6IZ7Dqnb— AIB (@AIBIreland) June 1, 2018
Bank of Ireland said it was "aware some customers are experiencing Visa debit card issues."
It said the problem was "impacting multiple banks across Europe" and noted that "cash withdrawals can be made at any Bank of Ireland ATM."
We are aware some customers are experiencing Visa debit card issues. This is impacting multiple banks across Europe. We will update when we know more. Cash withdrawals can be made at any BOI ATM.— Bank of Ireland (@talktoBOI) June 1, 2018
Business owners were quick to voice their anger online.
One Twitter user called Sandra Foy tweeted Paymentsense asking "are we going to be compensated for the loss of money?"
The company replied: "Hi Sandra, we are very sorry for the inconvenience but this is a nationwide issue and is out of our control. We will provide an update once we have one from our partners."