On Thursday, Square payments system crashed for several hours, leaving millions of merchants unable to serve lunch for millions of people at their favorite local spot. Square announced that there were issues with a back-up system that affected payments and other services offered by the payments company. This forced millions of stores to revert to only accepting cash from customers. Until the issue was finally fixed, merchants were advised to switch to offline mode that allowed them to take payments through swiping or just taking in cash.
According to a Square spokesperson in an email to media outlets, “One of our backend systems is currently experiencing issues that are affecting payments and other Square services. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and are providing real-time updates to our sellers on issquareup.com.” Surprisingly, Square Cash was the only feature unaffected by the outage that hit many retailers in the U.S. around lunch time.
Businesses and consumers then flocked to Twitter to inform others of the outage and to warn not to use their cards. For instance, Bard Coffee in Portland Main shared, “Hey friends! @Square is down nationwide! We are open but please bring cash, unable to process any other payment method.” Reports on the payment systems outage began surfacing on social media around 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Square has kept its customers updated with news as it unfolds.
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These are the updates so far shared by Square since the outage occurred:
- ‘We’re currently investigating multiple outages impacting various Square services.’
- ‘We’ll have more information and should be back up shortly.’
- ‘Again, we are so sorry for the disruption to your business.’
- ‘We will continue to provide updates on this issue every 15 minutes on this page.’
The issue however, was resolved fast and Square payments is now back online.
- ‘We have fully restored payments and Square services for our sellers.’
- ‘Today’s outage was due to a change we made to one of our back-end systems that resulted in capacity issues.’
- ‘We take outages extremely seriously; our sellers depend on Square to run their businesses, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption to both our sellers and their customers.’
Square was founded in 2009 by Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and has its headquarters in San Francisco. The firm allows merchants to accept credit-card payments over mobile phones and tablets with smaller fees than they had been paying through traditional credit card networks. It offers a number of services such as Square Order that lets businesses see when a customer using the app is approaching.
The app then tells a barista at a coffee shop when you are coming in because of the phone’s GPS. The coffee shop can then have the customer’s favorite coffee ready and waiting, and the app simply pays the bill using the stored credit card information. Square Cash lets users to send cash to an e-mail address, while Square Register allows anyone to accept safe and secure credit card payments with a low transaction rate.