Supermarkets struck by payment system glitch

An IT error affecting Barclaycard’s electronic fund transfer (EFT) system this weekend left UK shoppers unable to make electronic payments at several large retailers.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s was the worst affected by the problem, and was unable to accept credit or debit card payments across all 872 of it stores for 20 to 45 minutes from 2pm Saturday.

Rival supermarkets Waitrose and Morrisons, as well as DIY specialists B&Q and Homebase, were among other retailers reported to have suffered issues processing electronic transactions during this period.

"Many retailers across the country were affected by an issue with card payment systems today," said a Sainsbury’s spokesperson. "The problem was rectified very quickly and all of our stores are now trading normally."

The precise nature of the malfunction is unknown. "For about an hour this afternoon we experienced a technical issue that meant card payments could not be made in some large retailers," a Barclaycard spokesperson said on Saturday.

This is the second case case of IT failure for banking giant Barclays, of which Barclaycard is a subsidiary, in recent months. In late August, a fault with its account services system prevented some customers from making electronic payments, accessing Internet and telephone banking, and withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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