Nationwide disruption to card payments in Germany: Do you have enough cash?


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Card payments in Germany are not working well because of a nationwide disruption to card payments: supermarkets are reporting failures nationwide. Customers and retailers in Germany have been reporting problems paying with EC cards since the 24th of May. A bug in a popular reader is to blame. The only remedy, for now, is bills and coins.

Nationwide disruption to card payments: Some customers are currently experiencing a shock at the checkout: There is currently a technical problem with card payments in several supermarkets and discounters. Gas stations are also apparently affected by the outages.

Nationwide disruption to card payments

What’s causing the nationwide disruption to card payments in Germany?

Several supermarkets, discounters, and other retailers have been reporting technical problems with card payments at the checkout since Tuesday morning (May 24, 2022). The problem is currently occurring across Germany.

So far, for example, such a disruption has occurred in branches of Aldi, Edeka, Rewe, Netto, Rossmann, and dm when customers wanted to pay for their purchases by card.

► Both supermarkets and gas stations or other retailers seem to be affected nationwide, apparently regardless of the EC card that is used. The problem is probably with a specific device from the Verifone brand. There is a software error in the best-selling card reading terminal in Germany.

Nationwide disruption to card payments

Card payment in supermarkets is canceled due to disruption

The supermarket chain Konsum had already warned of the failure on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon: “Attention, an important note for you! Due to a Germany-wide disruption, card payment is currently not possible in our stores.” EC and bank cards, as well as credit cards, are affected.

► The problem is not with the cards themselves, but with the readers, which can no longer forward the data. The responsible software providers are already working on a solution.

According to the Federal Association of German Banks, this is a specific terminal from the manufacturer Verifone, namely the H5000 type. However, this is only used sporadically in Germany.

Increased Visa outages

Visa customers had also reported on the allestörungen portal that their card had not worked either when paying at the gas station or at the ATM.

There have been increased user reports pointing to possible problems with Visa in Germany.

Nationwide disruption to card payments

How do you survive the nationwide disruption to card payments? Make sure you have cash!

How long the problem will last is difficult to predict. For today and probably also for the next few days, it is, therefore, advisable to have cash with you when filling up or shopping. If you don’t have any cash, you should probably ask the sales staff for a moment or lookout for signs at the checkout or the petrol pump.

In an extreme emergency, such as when filling up, you can also ask that you leave a deposit, such as an ID card, and then you can fill up first, then withdraw money from a machine – and then pay. However, the store cannot demand this, especially since an ID card contains sensitive data. If you have friends nearby who have cash with you, you can also borrow something and then pay off the debt immediately using a payment service provider.

Call ahead before going to the market to find out in advance whether the issue has been resolved

In general, customers should pay attention to the relevant signs or announcements in supermarkets when shopping or speak to the staff directly about a possible disruption if they do not have enough cash with them.


Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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