Credit card glitch blocks transactions in major Israeli chains

Investigations discount possibility that the glitch resulted from a cyber attack; Rami Levi estimates damage at NIS 1 million.

February 13, 2014 12:02
1 minute read.
Credit card

Credit card 311. (photo credit: Brand X Pictures)


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A software glitch in the clearinghouse for credit card transactions on Thursday threw a wrench into business at major chains such as Mega and Supersal supermarkets and Paz gas station, inconveniencing customers and causing long lines.

From the morning hours, customers with shopping carts full of food found that they could not pay, and had to either find an ATM or leave their groceries altogether.

The glitch, which was fixed by early afternoon, apparently resulted from an overnight software update that blocked communications between Shva, the Automated Banking Services clearinghouse owned by the banks, and Retalix, which provides the payment terminals to the chains.

“In the morning hours, a breakdown was identified in the communications system between Retalix terminals and Shva. Following an examination [we] found a breakdown in the daily update file sent this morning from Shva,” NCR Corporation, which recently acquired Retalix, said.

The error, in which the exchange rate with the dollar was apparently set at zero, was fixed by early afternoon, according to TheMarker.

Investigations by security services discounted the possibility that the glitch resulted from a Cyber attack.

Rami Levi, a discount chain, estimated that the disruption resulted in a NIS 1 million loss, while Tiv Taam CEO Adi Cohen said that Shva should “clean house” to ensure that the “unacceptable” delays don’t occur again.

An estimate in the Calcalist daily put the overall damage to chains around the country at NIS 100,000 per minute.

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