Watchdog assesses McDonald’s and Greggs IT failures

Watchdog assesses McDonald’s and Greggs IT failures

The payments watchdog is looking into a technology glitch that has caused chaos for some high-profile retailers over the past week.

Greggs became the fourth major firm to suffer IT problems, following problems at McDonald’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) said it was reviewing the situation.

“PSR is aware of the recent payment issue and is assessing its nature to determine if any further action is required,” he said.

The PSR is the UK’s economic regulator for payment systems, working to make sure it works well for those who use it.

If it identifies issues with the resilience of the payments infrastructure, it can refer the matter to the Bank of England.

Such a system came to public attention after a series of technical glitches that left customers unable to make purchases.

Sainsbury’s was unable to fulfill most online grocery deliveries on Saturday due to problems with an overnight software update which also hit contactless payments in stores. Tesco was also forced to cancel a “small number” of orders.

A day earlier, McDonald’s restaurants around the world were unable to accept orders due to a “global technology system failure”.

On Wednesday, bakery chain Greggs became the latest major retailer to see its IT systems fail in several stores.

As a result of such close interference, experts have suggested that they could be linked, for example through common networks or payment infrastructure providers.

Alan Stephenson-Brown, CEO of IT firm Evolve, said the fact there were several outages was also a “timely reminder that even large companies are not immune to IT problems.”

He said retailers would lose millions of pounds.

“This highlights that digital disruption is a key risk for many retailers. Ensuring contingency planning is in place is essential,” said Mr Stephenson-Brown.

Jamil Ahmed, an engineer at transaction firm Solace, said the potential for “disruption and vulnerability” will grow as businesses become more reliant on digital transactions.

“The brick-and-mortar retail industry is facing a crossroads. Customers, accustomed to the constant uptime and reliability of online shopping, demand the same seamless digital experience from physical retailers,” he said.

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