Payment network Visa has confirmed that it has been disrupted by a service outage.
The company said it was investigating the cause of the disruption in a statement.
Visa services are back to normal after a technical issue caused chaos for customers across Europe.
Customers across the country are experiencing problems using bank and credit cards this afternoon.
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Ultimately, businesses across Europe and the United Kingdom were unable to make Visa transactions for around 6 hours on Friday.
The issue was not associated with any unauthorised access or cyber attack, the statement added.
Mastercard said its payment network was functioning normally.
It has gone really quiet and people have been paying with gift cards.
"Our goal is to ensure all Visa cards work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year".
However, the situation left some customers abandoning their shopping and walking out of stores.
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Virgin Trains told one customer: "Unfortunately unless you have another form of payment then you wouldn't be able to get a drink". Still, in some places, Visa cards are working fine.
Thousands of users are reporting their Visa debit cards are not working when trying to checkout at multiple locations.
"The issue was the result of a hardware failure".
Russian Federation was spared the chaos as it has its own National Payment Card System (NPCS) to prevent western sanctions creating a financial crisis.
Customers have reported money going missing from accounts when their cards were declined - including one man who lost £10,000 when paying for a auto. We apologise to all our partners & especially to Visa cardholders.
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