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Visa investigates "service disruption" across Europe

Paymentsense, which processes payments for small businesses in the United Kingdom, claimed Visa had informed it that the outage was over and that the problems were being caused by a backlog. The scale of the outage remains unclear.

Banks and shops in the United Kingdom took to Twitter to alert customers about the disruption.

Paymentsense, which facilitates card payments, say it is in touch with VISA and has apologized to customers "for any inconvenience".

"We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation", Visa said in a statement. "ATM and MasterCard transactions are not impacted", it said. "We are seeing nothing abnormal on our network right now", a spokesman said. Visa, which acquired Visa Europe in 2016, is a vital backbone for payments in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

These included London cab drivers who said they could not accept passenger payments, rail passengers unable to pay for their journey and "embarrassed" shoppers whose cards were declined at the till.

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The Visa payment system has crashed across Britain.

Visa cardholders can now use their Visa cards as we are currently operating at close to normal levels.

It encouraged customers to try contactless transactions as they had "a better chance of going through".

The blockage has left some customers stuck at the tills in stores across the continent.

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