Visa Europe CEO “sorry” for outage and unveils commitments to Europe’s fintech

By David Beach | 4 June 2018

At Money20/20, hosted this week in Amsterdam, Charlotte Hogg, CEO of VISA Europe apologised for the Visa outage that left many consumers and merchants unable to use the service.

Last Friday Visa reported an outage across UK and EU markets with millions affected.

“I’d like to start by saying sorry to our shareholders and card holders,” said Hogg, appearing before a packed audience at the event's main stage.

“Our mission is to connect the world to through the most secure and resilient network so that businesses can thrive. We fell well short of those expectations on Friday,” she said.

At the time of the disruption, the company moved to make amends quickly.

“Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption," a spokesperson told bobsguide. "This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation, and that’s all we can say at this current stage.”

The disruption forced Hogg to reconsider her delivery at Money20/20. “I did have a speech prepared which was all about thinking through the lessons of history and how they can help fulfill the expectations of consumers in this digital world today. Given the last few days, that now seems as relevant as ever.”

Shoppers were advised by consumer protection magazine Which? to keep records of their expenses, tweeting: “It's a good idea to be extra wary about any emails or phone calls you may receive related to the Visa outage. Unexpected financial events like this can be a magnet for scammers.”

Hogg confirmed a hardware failure across one network had led to the outage, which was not attributed to any cyber or malicious attack.

In her speech, Hogg also unveiled two commitments to Europe’s fintech market in line with what she called “the intersection of change between regulator, consumer and technology” and the wider themes of data control (GDPR) and data sharing (Open Banking).

“Visa hasn’t always been fast, and it hasn’t always been clear,” she said, acknowledging the company's imperative to provide better payments access for budding fintechs.

“We’re offering a new programme for fintechs with a special fee structure to access with Visa network,” she said.

Already working with the likes of Solaris Bank and Payworks, Visa have further promised to pump $100m into European fintech.

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