Shops in Mexico started asking customers to pay with cash after several of the country’s biggest banks started having issues handling debit and credit card payments, Reuters reported on Saturday (Aug. 10).
Cards affected included Banorte, HSBC and Santander, who said on Twitter that they would find a way to rectify the problem, which seemed to be with the company processing the payments. Reuters reported that it was not immediately clear whether cards other than those issued by Banorte, HSBC and Santander were affected.
Customers at various stores in Mexico City said their cards were declined at different stores, and other shops had signage indicating systems were down but cash was being accepted, Reuters said.
The Mexican Finance Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The card processing outage comes on the heels of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s recent encouragement to use cards over cash.
Payments startup Stripe announced earlier in August that it was planning to open an office in Mexico City to take advantage of opportunities for growth in the Latin American region. Stripe said it wants to get engineers from the area and take advantage of the fast-growing mobile payment and eCommerce sectors.
Stripe Chief Business Officer Billy Alvarado said that the activity in the region made the move an easy choice. “Our goal is to make sure that the internet works the way it was intended to — it should be global, and it should be borderless,” Alvarado said. “There’s a very rich ecosystem for us in Latin America.”
San Francisco-based Stripe competes with Square and Adyen to help businesses facilitate payments over the internet.
With a valuation of $22.5 billion, Stripe has investors like Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Google’s venture outfit Capital G, Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins and other notable names in the space.