Breakdowns in the supermarket – where can I pay by card now?

Readers paralyzed: Breakdowns in the supermarket – where can I pay by card now?

“Unable to pay by card”: Several stores have reported problems with card payments for several days. Due to a complex software error, the solution may take the next few days in extreme cases. FOCUS Online tells you where you can easily pay by card now – and where you’d rather take your cash with you.

As FOCUS Online found out, from Tuesday evening there was a problem with card payments for a specific reader in Germany. At around 5:00 p.m., the first branches reportedly reported failures. In particular, it is the H5000 reader from the American manufacturer Verifone.

Branch managers reacted after the first failures and ordered their employees to restart the cash registers. The desired effect did not occur. Giro, credit cards and other bank cards triggered error messages, and in individual cases paralyzed the entire cash register. As a result, affected readers were disabled. Since then, customers can only pay in cash.

Worst-case scenario for discounters and supermarkets! Most customers pay with a card, smartphone or smartwatch, especially on weekends. If you don’t have cash with you and you can’t shop there, you go to the competition. At the same time, more cash also means higher costs. Because shipping companies and banks charge higher fees.

Does this apply to all hardware stores, drugstores, discount stores and supermarkets?

This does not apply to individual cash registers in stores and entire branches of Netto Marken-Discount, Edeka, Rossmann, Aldi Nord and Kaufland.

In the affected branch, not all cash registers are paralyzed at the same time. Supermarkets often use several card readers. For example, at Netto Marken-Discount, paying with a card at self-service checkouts works without any problems.

In individual cases, problems may also arise at gas stations. Note that problems may arise wherever the affected card reader is used.

Aldi Süd, Lidl, Rewe and Penny are not affected by the breakdown. The reason is that stores don’t use the H5000 at all.

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What do I need to consider when shopping?

Take cash with you to shop for the next few days. The failure does not apply to ATMs. At Aldi Süd, Lidl, Rewe and Penny, you can withdraw cash for every purchase free of charge. This is useful if you want to go to the hairdresser later and cannot pay by card there.

It’s best to take as much cash with you as you calculate for the purchase. This allows you to take all important groceries, drinks and drugstore items with you from your weekly purchases. Find out in good time if card payments are possible in the branch. Watch out for announcements at the entrance and announcements in the branch.

The corresponding notes look like this:

What do the affected devices look like?

Verfione H5000 card reader:

The device is one of the three market leaders in Germany.

Will the problem be resolved quickly?

Completely unclear.

As FOCUS Online found out, the technical error is complex.

US manufacturer Verifone did not respond to press inquiries until Thursday evening. Technicians should fix the problem as soon as possible. The company apologized for the inconvenience.

Leading payment service providers in Germany do not believe in a quick solution. Payone talks about “manual intervention” that would be necessary to get the problem under control quickly, and competitor Concardis even talks directly about replacing devices. Suitable dealers would be supported.

Apparently, the retail industry is already doing this. A Rossmann employee reported on Friday morning: “Our device was replaced Wednesday night. Everything has been working since then. ” Aldi Nord also said on Friday: “The device has been changed at checkout, at checkout 3 you can pay by card again.”

How do I know if I can pay by card at branches?

Basically, the companies concerned provide information through announcements and displays at the entrance. For example, “Payment by card is not possible with us.” In many cases, notices are issued simultaneously.

At the Edeka branch in Munich, he said on Wednesday: “Dear customers, we would like to point out that at present card payments are not possible in our branch. We ask for your understanding.” Customers will also find relevant information boards at the checkout.

What if I can’t pay for my purchases with my card?

Then you have to pay for your purchases in cash. If you don’t have enough money, your purchases must stay in the store.

From a purely legal point of view, the sales contract between the supermarket and the consumer is concluded only at the checkout. If the card payment does not work and the customer does not have cash with him, the purchase contract is considered unsuccessful. The goods must then remain in the branch.

This is especially troublesome for supermarkets and discounters. Then you need to properly put the products back on the shelves. In some cases, frozen goods and meat even have to be thrown away when the cold chain has been interrupted for a long time and the products are no longer “cool enough”.
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