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Cash card crash marks last day of Christmas shopping

EC-card holders were left without being able to pay for their purchases

(Keystone)

There was fresh chaos on Sunday for people trying to make transactions using EC-direct credit cards. A technical failure in the EC-card payment system on Saturday caused havoc in shops across Switzerland for more than two hours.

Sunday's disruption only affected those trying to use Credit Suisse automatic teller machines with EC-direct cards.

The Credit Suisse hotline said they were trying to figure out the cause of the breakdown and repair the system. Clients whose card was swallowed by the machines would be returned by post.

Telekurs AG, which manages electronic payments across Switzerland, said Saturday's crash of EC-card payment systems had been caused by a technical failure. The company said it had taken special measures before one of the busiest shopping days of the year began.

Around 100,000 transactions with EC and Euro cards were blocked between 13.15 and 15.25.

Because of the failure, shop owners were not even able to send their customers to cash machines, lumping additional stress on last-minute Christmas shoppers.

swissinfo with agencies

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