Author Topic: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike  (Read 1118 times)

gunwharfman

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Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« on: 19:18:50, 01/06/18 »
Todays Visa problem prompted me to remember the times when on a lonely trail and getting to a pub or similar and I forgot to get cash earlier in the day. I can imagiene it would be just my luck to try to use my card for a well earned beer only to find it had all crashed. I usually remember to hide a £20 on me, for one of those 'just in case' situations, but I've often forgotten to do this as well.

Is it me, or is the frequency of these kind of crashes getting worse and the numbers of people affected getting more and more? I can understand how it could be so easy to lose faith in the system. Its a warning of perhaps more and bigger problems to come?

fernman

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #1 on: 20:38:39, 01/06/18 »
Had a weird experience today when buying a new pair of Backcountry shorts (that's the walking connection, folks!) on Royal Robbins' UK website.

My Visa card needed verification by Nationwide, who immediately texted me a code to enter on the page, but after I had done this a message said my transaction was unsuccessful and try another method of payment.

Back-clicking to the payents page I now selected PayPal, and with exactly the same card my payment was successful this time.

UPDATE: Just seen a news item about the "Visa problem" GWM mentioned. It all makes sense now.
« Last Edit: 21:49:16, 01/06/18 by fernman »

Dazza

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #2 on: 15:03:51, 03/06/18 »
Without a lesson on the payment industry and using it's proper terms (it's not as simple as it looks, but what is?).

It is unusual for a major payment processor such as Visa to go down (especially in the way it did), it isn't that unusual though for individual merchants (Barclaycard, Lloyds etc) to have problems locally or nationally.

After a friends bank / merchant had a local issue and they struggled to pay for things I made sure had cards from both a Mastercard issuer and a Visa issuer and both from different organisations.  Doesn't mean I'll never have problems but it reduces them at least.

During this outage my local pubs all went cash only except Wetherspoons. My local Wetherspoons process their payments via Mastercard though and lots of the transactrions would be under the floor limit as well.

Paypal are actually at a similar level of credit processor as Visa so I'm not too surprised they were ok.
Dazza
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These boots were made for walking so that's just what I'll do. After I've re-proofed them of course...

gunwharfman

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #3 on: 18:00:22, 03/06/18 »
R4 made a programme about our banking system about 3 years ago and they were warning about this kind of problem then. The charge is that our banking system is based one Windows '1', the oldest and simplest programme of all and that the banks are too mean to upgrade it.  There was a crash like this then (can't remember who it happened to?) and the banks had to look all over the globe for someone who undertood how it all worked. The BBC programme claimed that in the end the banks managed to find a retired engineer living in Cyprus and he was flown back to repair the fault. I've tried to find the programme again but have had no luck so far.

I've heard journalist also mention this problem in the last few days. I wonder when we might find out whats causing all these problems Windows '1' perhaps?

gunwharfman

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #4 on: 18:10:57, 03/06/18 »
I've narrowed it down to the RBS failure of 2012, they said it could never happen again. Guess what, it has and more than once!

jimbob

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #5 on: 18:44:24, 03/06/18 »
It turns out the visa problem was stated as being hardware related.
I had experience of a "hardware" problem at work many years ago. the physical system was very old and interdependent. The hard Disks were literally a bank of discs  spinning in a vacuum.  However the power supply went on one of the ancient disk drives and hey presto everything went down, recovery was slow as they had stopped making that power supply years earlier. The electronics engineer on site physically patched one up from several others psus. Data back up was really difficult as the disk drive was physically damaged in the shutdown and also had to be bodged. eventually someone remembered some even older technology and got some ancient paper tapes out to run through a reader a reboot the disc drive, The backup disc was inserted and got everything barring the last couple of hours work. Only took 20 hours of none stop panic.Years later the same basic machine was still doing the job but the discs/memory had been upgraded and modernised, the programming of the IBM mainframe machine was from the stone ages.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #6 on: 19:48:17, 03/06/18 »
Funnily enough we finished a walk at a pub yesterday and stopped for something to eat and drink (TBH most of my walks end up that way, itís planned). Anyhow my Visa Card would not work so I went to plan B - pay by MasterCard. That failed too so went to plan C, used beer chits. They always work.
Solvitur Ambulando

fit old bird

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #7 on: 20:55:47, 04/06/18 »
Most of my purchases are with cash these days, so I'm not bothered. Even on a long walk I take cash.


Ilona

Dazza

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #8 on: 21:28:26, 04/06/18 »
R4 made a programme about our banking system about 3 years ago and they were warning about this kind of problem then. The charge is that our banking system is based one Windows '1',

I've heard journalist also mention this problem in the last few days. I wonder when we might find out whats causing all these problems Windows '1' perhaps?
Radio really shouldn't do technology. The BBC shouldn't expecially as they dumb it down far too much - whenever Rory Cellan-Jones starts on about something I inwardly wince as he over simplifies too much.
Visa said it was a hardware failure. GIven the effect (machines not even allowing payments to start in some cases) I'd expect a rather big chunk of networking equipment or a transaction gateway failing.

Uk Banking (Visa aren't a bank as such) was based (often still is) on IBM Mainframe technology.  Microsoft weren't around when the UK banking system became computerised at the back end. Mainframes are still present in modern UK Banks, these are slowly being replaced but these systems work and have done for years (RBS sacking their IT staff aside). It's also hugely expensive and very risky to do so, mainframes aren't going anywhere soon afterall. There's very little business benefit in replacing mainframes, especially when the batch nature of their procesdsing actually earns you money in interest due to time delays. Plus try getting that investment case by the Board.

Windows 1 was fairly short lived, wasn't well received and I don't believe had an SNA client (SNA being a mainframe protocol) which would've been important when green screen terminals were phased out. The most likely candidate here is actually IBM OS 2 (and later OS 2 warp) which supported SNA out of the box. Quite a few of the "red screen" HSBC ATMs still run OS 2 Warp - you can see this when they crash, something I saw just after I put my card in of course. Quite a few ATMs are still based on Windows XP, upgrading to something newer being rather expensive.

Credit Card payments, the terminals and networks are bound by PCI DSS 2.0 regulations in the UK. You wouldn't keep your credit processing capabilities for very long if you ran something that wasn't compliant (it enforces standards like firewalls, passwords, patching etc). Believe me, I work for a large EU based payment procressing company, and our group gets bored to tears with this stuff - mainly because our section doesn't do any payment or personal data processing at all, but we have to do it anyway.

Dazza
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These boots were made for walking so that's just what I'll do. After I've re-proofed them of course...

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #9 on: 16:13:18, 05/06/18 »
Two of my friends now pay for virtually everything by using their mobile phone.
One friend, a retired doctor, never carries cash, and hardly uses his bank cards, i am not even sure if he owns a wallet full of plastic,  as  everything is done through his mobile phone.
Recently, we went out for a nice meal in the local Indian restaurant, he paid using his phone.

Technology has certainly come a long way, and its possible that the next generation will have no use for cash, resulting in everything being conducted online,  hence the trusty mobile phone.

Most of us now have a mobile phone, but paying for everything via a phone, that's the way forward for many.

Banks are now increasingly trying to get us to bank online, so in the not too distant future, bank notes and coins may be a thing of the past.

jimbob

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #10 on: 17:10:48, 05/06/18 »
Mobile phone? Trusty??????Sorry Dyfrryn, all the problems relating to cards are multiplied when using phones. I saw a fellow from the Met. in Victoria station once showing how many phones and laptops on people walking past were fully open to hackers etc. Most high school kids know a little bit about hacking, some of them have left school and find it easier to electronically rob people than do work or even run drugs.
My som is involved in security for the MOD and he told me they get thousands of attempts to break into systems every hour. the ones they really worry about are the ones who have been successful and undiscovered. He wont use a touch card or mobile phone or laptop for paying anything. His phone and all his cards are in an RFID protected wallet as is his passport when travelling.



Too little, too late, too bad......

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #11 on: 17:23:28, 05/06/18 »
I totally agree, mobile phone data theft is huge business, but its no different to banking online.
We simply have no idea who is watching our every move and financial transaction.
Ive lost count how many times the staff in my local branch of Nat West have tried to get me to adopt online banking, they even have a huge tv screen playing a video highlighting the main benefits of online banking, and they told me the branches long term viability would have no effect on whether i banked online or at the branch.

Its simply down to convenience and peoples so called reluctance to visit their local high street branch.

I can see in the next decade or so, the entire banking network being conducted online, with thirty branches of Barclays already closing this year in Wales, and some of those branches in populated areas.

The safety implications of doing my banking online scares me to bits, and i will be the last person alive to adopt the practice, but conducting every financial transaction online, through a mobile phone is seen as a very attractive proposition for many technology geeks.

That does not include me.
« Last Edit: 17:27:31, 05/06/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Dazza

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #12 on: 19:28:09, 05/06/18 »
Technology has certainly come a long way, and its possible that the next generation will have no use for cash, resulting in everything being conducted online,  hence the trusty mobile phone.
A recent graduate starter at my place never ever carried cash, always cards or via NFC on his phone. We often go to pubs without card facilities though, so he's learned his lesson  ;D
I'd expect most people under 25 or so don't use cash much at all.
Dazza
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These boots were made for walking so that's just what I'll do. After I've re-proofed them of course...

madame cholet

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #13 on: 06:45:58, 06/06/18 »
Just stayed at Skidaw house recently cash only lots of small businesses still use cash although I take bacs payments. When I'm trading at outdoor events I only take cash but quite a few stalls have cards readers connected with their smart phones.
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Roburite

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Re: Dealing with a 'Visa' problem when on a hike
« Reply #14 on: 08:03:04, 29/06/18 »
When walking in North Devon backcountry I arrived at the pub where I planned to eat and drink but after placing an order I realised that I'd  forgotten my wallet. "Don't worry" said the barmaid, "You look like a nice man. You can pay later by phone." Perhaps it happens a lot around there but I was very grateful. It was also nice to hear that I look like a nice man.