The Visa payment system had crashed on 2nd June due to a network error. This resulted in chaos in the UK and some other parts of Europe. Quite a few people were unable to make the necessary payments or make purchases.
This led to customers being stuck at long queues in departmental stores and even in front of ATMs while attempting to withdraw cash. Retailers were left unable to take payments in shops, bars and other outlets, forcing them to resort to only taking cash or not making sales at all. Petrol stations and toll booths were unable to process the payments, leading to huge queues again.
Apart from customers who use Visa cards, many other financial systems who have built products on top of the Visa infrastructure or retail stores who used Visa card machines were also affected by the network outage.
While the issue was resolved in a day and a half, this incident should give pause to the blind race towards a cashless society. Electronic systems can fail or be hacked, which can leave thousands stranded. Always good to have cash as an option.