NatWest has confirmed that debit card payments were not working for two hours yesterday. A spokeswoman for the bank apologised to those affected and said none would be left out of pocket.

In response to the news Sam Murrant, Senior Payments Analyst at GlobalData, said “The payments industry is increasingly moving towards an assumption that we will pay for everything electronically in the near future – but there clearly remain faults with the card infrastructure that make it impossible to fully rely on electronic (i.e. card) payments. Alongside today’s fault we saw a much greater disruption in early June when Visa’s systems failed, leaving consumers across Europe unable to pay for goods and services.”

“The card infrastructure is old and showing its age. With consumers expecting to be able to rely on cards – and carrying cashless frequently as a result – the industry can only afford so many disruptions of this type before we start to see consumers turning back to coins and notes.”