Albert Heijn, Etos stores hit by debit card outage
Cash was king on Friday morning at hundreds of stores in the Netherlands and Belgium with a debit card outage affecting shops owned by parent company Ahold Delhaize. The national disruption meant customers could not pay for goods using their ATM cards at Albert Heijn supermarkets, Albert Heijn To Go, Etos and Gall & Gall.
The retail conglomerate controls over 2,150 retail locations in the Netherlands and about 50 in Belgium. The cause of the network outage was not clear, but it started before 7 a.m. and was still affecting retailers nearly five hours later. Payment for delivered groceries using a portable transaction terminal were not affected.
"We currently have a nationwide network outage in our stores. As a result, you temporarily cannot pay for your groceries with pin," Albert Heijn said on social media. "Together with KPN, we are doing everything we can to solve the problem as quickly as possible. You can pay in cash."
"It is irritating, especially in this time when hardly anyone is paying with cash," a spokesperson told newspaper AD. "We urge customers to bring cash and make payments as corona-proof as possible."
Customers were asked to place cash on the payment shelf at checkout, instead of handing it to employees. Stores that only accepted debit cards were closed for the time being, a spokesperson for Albert Heijn told newswire ANP.