Shopping grinds to halt when Mexican banks unable to process cards over weekend

Several major banks in Mexico, including Banorte, HSBC and Santander, reported problems processing debit and credit card payments on Saturday, according to a report in the Puerto Vallarta Daily news. Several shops in Mexico City also told customers they could only accept cash. 

“Endless queues, full carts in supermarkets set aside and rows of angry people,” is how El Financiero described the scene as millions of people in Mexico City experienced problems with ATM and point-of-sale transactions. 

The problem stemmed from Prosa, the leading electronic banking and credit card transaction switch in Latin America. Prosa said in a statement on Twitter that it was having problems with a data center.

By late Saturday night, the company reported that the problem had been solved and said the system was coming back online early Sunday morning. 

“The fault presented in one of our data centers was repaired and most of our services are already working. We continue working to ensure that the services will be fully stabilized in the next few hours,” Prosa said in a tweet (translated) late Saturday. 

The failure comes at a time when the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is considering a ban on the use of cash for purchasing gasoline and to pay for tolls.