Card infrastructure is showing its age

Following the news (Thursday 2 August) that NatWest debit cards were unusable for two hours this afternoon, Sam Murrant, Senior Payments Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the future of card-based payments:

“The payments industry is increasingly moving towards an assumption that we will pay for everything electronically in the near future – but there clearly remain faults with the card infrastructure that make it impossible to fully rely on electronic (i.e. card) payments. Alongside today’s fault we saw a much greater disruption in early June when Visa’s systems failed, leaving consumers across Europe unable to pay for goods and services.

“The card infrastructure is old and showing its age. With consumers expecting to be able to rely on cards – and carrying cash less frequently as a result – the industry can only afford so many disruptions of this type before we start to see consumers turning back to coins and notes.”

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