The problems with payments with EC and credit cards in German retail continue. The manufacturer responsible, Verifone, has now announced an update for the devices. But the repair will obviously take a while.

“Only cash is true” – this sentence has been heard remarkably often since the beginning of the week. The reason for the mantra-like repetition of this phrase is a nationwide disruption of a very widespread card terminal from the American manufacturer Verifone. Even after the holiday, the problems with cashless payment apparently continue. After all: The manufacturer promises improvement, but needs time.

Manual intervention required – that costs time

A Verifone spokesman told dpa: “We will shortly provide a software update for our customers to fix the problem and will inform our customers as soon as this is available.” The affected payment service provider Payone puts it this way: “This complex process cannot therefore be carried out ad hoc across the board, but will take a considerable amount of time.” Translated: With a mouse click in the Verifone headquarters, it is probably not done, apparently you have to go directly to the terminals. A logistical challenge.

The various providers seem to be giving a lot of thought to how to get the terminals back online as efficiently as possible. The financial service provider Concardis reports that they are planning to exchange defective devices for functioning terminals on site.

A template for new payment methods

The branches of Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, Lidl, Rewe, Penny, Edeka and Toom are badly affected. Some petrol stations have already placed signs at the pumps saying that card payment is not possible, and various transport companies have also been affected, such as Stadtwerke Bonn.

In the social networks you could read all sorts of stories about how customers were ultimately able to make the payment. In addition to numerous hymns of praise for cash, alternative payment methods are experiencing a real boom.

Word has gotten around among Edeka customers about the retail chain’s app, which allows cashless payments to be made there despite defective terminals. In fast-food chains, customers are sent to the order terminals because different card devices are installed there than at the cash registers. Still other customers report (probably from smaller shops) that the money could simply be sent to the seller via PayPal.

Please of the customers: Do not wait until the checkout!

For the duration of the disruption, however, many customers have one wish for the shops: If a branch is not able to accept card payments, they want to see the unmistakable indication of this fact at the entrance – and not only at the checkout. Many frustrated customers also suggest setting up alternative card terminals for such a case – this is common in other countries for precisely this reason.