Major blow to smalls businesses as contactless payment platform Square suffers nationwide outage | Englishheadline


A widespread outage of online payment platform Square has left small businesses in the lurch with many cafes and local retailers across the country unable to process sales.

Some businesses requested cash payments on Friday while others offered the option of bank transfer to avoid losing customers after they were unable to accept card transactions. 

The disruptions related to an outage at global fintech company Square, which is reportedly also impacting businesses internationally. 

“We are currently experiencing issues with multiple Square services,” the company said 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.”

At about 2.50am AEST Square said it was investigating a disruption to its services.

“We understand how important it is for your business for all of our services to be up and running, and our Engineering team is actively working on a fix,” an update on the company’s website said.

As of 3.10pm the company said its engineering team were still working to identify the issue.

“All hands are on deck, and we’ll update you as soon as we have news. Thanks for your patience again!” the update reads.

With no clear indication of when the technical blunder will be resolved, businesses have taken to social media to urge customers to bring cash for night-trading. 

“A humble reminder today of how technology is not always the saviour with square terminal having a global outage,” wrote Victorian business The Bearded Pig. 

“So tonight your options for payment are as follows: Cash, Bank Transfer, PayID or… if you must online order through Menulog/Uber or Doordash for “Pickup” or “delivery” options.”

The outage has raised concerns among regional businesses amid the push towards a cashless society. 

General Manager of Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory Rhiannon Druce said 80 per cent of her customers pay by card but she forced to ask customers to come back and pay with cash. 

“We understand technology comes with its limitations but I think this highlights why cash still has an important place in our society,” said Ms Druce. 

“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.” 

The latest service updates from Square can be found here.

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