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Ulster Bank apologises for problems with customers using debit cards

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 01/01/2016

Some Ulster Bank customers were unable to use their debit cards in Tesco stores
Some Ulster Bank customers were unable to use their debit cards in Tesco stores

Ulster Bank has confirmed that a "small number of its customers" experienced problems using their debit cards in Tesco stores on Friday.

An RBS spokesperson said: "Yesterday (Friday), we were made aware of an issue affecting a small number of our customers when making point of sale transactions at some retailers. This is a specific issue at these outlets and we are working with them to resolve. All RBS systems are working as normal."

A Tesco spokesperson also apologised and said: "We have been working to resolve this issue and we expect it to be fixed tomorrow. "

Unlike previous computing problems that have previously hit the RBS-owned bank, it's understood that the numbers affected in Northern Ireland were relatively small.

The issue was a point-of-sale error and did not affect ATM, contactless,  credit card or Apple Pay transactions.

The glitch impacted on some customers in Northern Ireland and the Republic  of Ireland as well as RBS and NatWest customers.

Customers using their debit cards in Tesco stores found that their payments would not go through at the till.

One shopper was in Tesco's Newtownabby store said that some customers waiting to pay were told to go out and get cash if they had Ulster Bank debit cards.

She said: "The queues waiting at the tills were 20 deep as it was 15 minutes to closing time, it was mayhem.

"Staff began to yell that all Ulster Bank debit card customers should outside and withdraw cash to pay for their goods."

RBS is working with Tesco to resolve the problems as quickly as possible  but could not say when it would be fixed.

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