Banksys solves cash card mystery
9 December 2004
BRUSSELS – Last weekend’s catastrophic failure of bank card readers and cashpoints across Belgium was caused by a chain of small technical errors and not a computer virus, it has been discovered.
The verdict, by bank card company Banksys, has put paid to fears of more breakdowns wreaking havoc for Christmas shoppers.
Representatives of large distribution companies (Fedis) and small businesses (UCM and Unizo) were summoned by Banksys on Thursday to be given a full explanation.
They were reassured that the drastic slowing down of transactions last weekend was due to an unfortunate sequence of minor hiccups in the internal Banksys system.
This was aggravated by the large number of bank card payments made by shoppers.
Banksys has been able to resolve the problem so that it does not re-occur, and a plan to compensate companies for the loss of business is on the table.
A total of 220 000 transactions by bank cards and 60 000 by credit cards failed to process.
The estimated loss of turnover rests at nearly 10-20 percent of the volume of sales last Saturday, or around EUR 20 million.
Compensation will be different depending on the size of the business.
Banksys has already decided to make a gesture towards the retail sector by announcing that all transactions will be free on 18 December.
But it is still denying overall responsibility for the blunder.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news