'Chaos' as store card payments systems fail

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The Independent Online

Supermarkets across the country were hit by failures in card payment systems today leaving "chaos" at the checkouts.

A total of 872 branches of Sainsbury's were affected by the problems with credit and debit card payments.

The difficulties lasted for about 20 minutes at 2.30pm, according to a spokesman for Sainsbury's.

He said the problem was not restricted to Sainsbury's but had affected other retailers as well.

He added: "Many retailers across the country were affected by an issue with card payment systems today.

"The problem was rectified very quickly and all of our stores are now trading normally."

Shoppers had left messages on the micro-blogging site Twitter about the problems.

A Barclaycard spokesman said: "For about an hour this afternoon we experienced a technical issue that meant card payments could not be made in some large retailers.

"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this issue and we are conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of this issue."