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Fury over ‘inexcusable’ payment blackout

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The system issues were affecting ‘multiple’ Square services, the company said. Picture: Supplied

Online payment platform Square is back online after it was rocked by system outages and “degraded performance”, leaving business owners unable to take payments.

Multiple services of the contactless payment platform were shut down both domestically and abroad from Friday morning.

The issues were identified at 3am and continued for 24 hours until Square confirmed the issues had been resolved on Saturday morning.

“We can confirm that Square payments processing services have been restored,” the company wrote on social media just before 3.30am.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this disruption caused to your business.”

The company did not specify what had caused the outage, citing only “issues”.

The payment system is largely used by small and medium-sized retail and hospitality businesses, which are able to use Square to accept contactless payments and credit cards.

The outage sparked outrage among small businesses owners who claim they have suffered a direct loss of revenue due to Friday’s outage.

Taking to social media to vent their anger, many asked whether Square would reimburse them for the losses incurred because they were unable to take payments.

“I’ve been using Square as my merchant since 2017,” one person wrote.

“After yesterday’s disaster my business lost tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.”

The system issues were affecting ‘multiple’ Square services, the company said. Picture: Supplied
The system issues were affecting ‘multiple’ Square services, the company said. Picture: Supplied

Another asked whether they would receive a refund for the processing fees charged by the company after its service was inoperative for a day.

“Inexcusable,” one social media slammed.

Square said it was still examining the cause for the widespread service disruption.

“Once the outage has been fully investigated, we plan to publish a full review of this issue and determine what steps we can take to prevent it from happening again,” the company wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

The company acknowledged the inconvenience and said it had been “actively working on a fix” throughout the daylong blackout on Friday.

“We understand how important it is for your business that our services be up and running, and we are actively working toward a fix,” the company said in a statement.

General Manager of Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, Rhiannon Druce, said she had been forced to ask customers to “come back and pay with cash” on Friday.

“Eighty per cent of our customers pay with card and that isn’t happening today because of technical issues with Square that’s being felt across the country,” she said.

“We already have Telstra here fixing internet issues following storms last weekend and now we don’t know how long we will be unable to take card payments from our customers because the Square platform is down.

“We actually were having issues with Square three days ago and we completely replaced the hardware, which we received yesterday and today it’s not working because of a bigger issue that will be impacting businesses everywhere.”

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Square devices were not operational on Friday.

The company has not responded to requests for refunds and waived processing fees.

“We know you trust us with your business, and these situations add challenges to running your operations,” the company said on X.

“For that, we are truly sorry.”