The government and the Reserve Bank of India on Saturday directed the public to use plastic money or cheques to pay for goods and services as India's banking system reels under the sudden rush of customers looking to exchange their banned notes from the government's demonetisation move.
On Saturday evening, when half of the ATMs were still out of service, several merchants and consumers reported being unable to swipe debit and credit cards at locations in Delhi NCR because of "busy servers."
One supermarket cashier in Gurgaon told HuffPost India that the credit card servers had been giving trouble for the past couple of days, especially during rush hours in the evening, with only intermittent service. "Only Amex card has been working," the merchant said.
Twitter users also reported credit card server glitches.
Large % of my Paytm use was when credit card servers crashed at the local supermarket. https://t.co/qnflEB6wXS— Sayoni Aiyar (@sayoniaiyar) November 12, 2016
Demonetisation good, but didn't have to be like Tughlaqi confiscation of existing currency. Now overburdened credit card servers crashing— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) November 12, 2016
ATM Lines at largest Delhi mall. Mostly working class, many in uniforms. Credit card machines jammed in big outlets pic.twitter.com/I98GrdtpRU— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) November 12, 2016
The Quint also reported some users running into credit card issues at some merchants late on Saturday.
In an e-mailed statement, Visa told HuffPost India, "Visa has not seen any downtime on our infrastructure. We are committed to making to making India a cashless society where payments are secure and seamless."
Porush Singh, country corporate officer, India and division president, South Asia, Mastercard, in an e-mailed statement said, "Despite the surge in electronic payments, Mastercard has not witnessed any downtime in processing merchant transactions. Our networks are designed to process 43 billion transactions per second. Mastercard is working closely with the banks and all our partners to ensure that our customers are able to make payments safely and conveniently 24 x 7 at 1.44 million PoS terminals across merchant locations in India. Mastercard is strongly geared to support Honourable PM's move of demonetization through new technologies that balance the need for increased security with easier everyday payments."
Amid rising anger among people across India over exchanging the scrapped currency, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday regretted hardships caused due to withdrawal of high denomination notes but advised the public to be patient as the move will have larger benefits for the economy in long term.
On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a surprise announcement, scrapping the currency notes for ₹500 and ₹1,000, which make up a staggering 86% of all bank notes in circulation--in India.
After a two-day ATM shut down period, the move has sent people to line up outside ATMs across the country to find the machines out of cash. Banks have also been slow to give out the new currency fueling public anger.
With agency inputs