Asda looked to have a particularly bad Halloween weekend as a glitch caused card machines in its stores up and down the country to break down.
The fault occurred on Sunday and led to many stores closing for the whole day.
The reaction to the glitch was particularly vociferous on social media as customers tweeted their anger at the long queues and having to go to a cash machine to get cash out.
— mayo (@Pupaga) October 30, 2016
Not-so-easy like Sunday morning. Asda Queslett's chip and pin machines are down, meaning it's cash payments only. pic.twitter.com/5MPD2HsYgN
— Ashley Preece (@PreeceObserver) October 30, 2016
Asda tweeted later in the afternoon to say that the fault has been fixed in the majority of stores.
@teamactiveja Hi John majority of our stores are back up and working but it would be worth checking with your local store first 🙂
— Asda Service Team (@AsdaServiceTeam) October 30, 2016
One customer told the BBC that the glitch added an extra 45 minutes to her shop and that “The doors are shut and people were shouting outside”.
Another customer was frustrated by the store’s apparent lack of back-up plans.
— Jim Bentley (@MrJimBentley) October 30, 2016
Issues like the one Asda experienced over the weekend is likely to stir up again the debate about the point of cash in a digital age. As evidenced by many customers, the glitch meant people had no choice but to queue for lengthy periods at the cash machines outside the stores – there was no other way of paying.
This raises questions about the strength and security of our payment systems and perhaps suggests that rather than cash dying out or being actively eliminated, it should be kept on as a safeguard if, or when, digital payments malfunction.
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