Greggs, McDonalds, Sainsbury’s – how to survive a payment system outage

21 March, 2024 · 6 min read

This week some of the UK’s best-known high street stores – Sainsbury’s, McDonalds and Greggs – have all had technical problems with card payments that meant they had to temporarily stop trading.

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If hungry Greggs customers failing to get their beloved steak bake doesn’t keep you awake at night,  it’s still unsettling that these household names with their huge tech teams and IT budgets can still suffer from such severe outages. After all, if they can’t protect their card payment systems then what chance do small businesses have?

Well, at ANNA we’ve got your back. In this article we’ll share some simple pointers for keeping your business up and running and taking money even when card payments are down.

What went wrong?

Sainsbury’s experienced a ‘technical issue’ that affected card payments in stores and led to many online deliveries being cancelled. McDonalds had what it describes as a ‘technology outage’ which left many stores unable to take orders at counters or via the app. And Gregg’s reported that many shops couldn’t take card payments, so some outlets closed and some struggled on, only accepting cash.

One (slightly smug) customer posted on X: “Greggs this morning cash only! Sitting here with my coffee watching almost everyone have to walk out.”

4 steps you can take to keep trading

Don’t rely on one card payment service

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. At ANNA we work with all the major payment providers, and we know it’s worth having more than one platform, so that if one card payment machine goes down you have an alternative and can continue taking orders.

Use ANNA’s payment link

ANNA customers can generate a payment link from within their ANNA account and this link can be instantly sent to whoever needs to pay you.
The link takes your customers to your unique payment page where they can pay you in two ways: by bank transfer through their own banking app or, if you have Stripe set up on your ANNA account, by entering their card details directly on the payment page.
These two options might feel like a long-way around, but at least they will keep you going until any payment problems are resolved.

Generate a QR code 

Another handy option: you can generate a QR code for each payment – just type “payment link” in your ANNA app, and one of the options will be the QR. You can specify the amount and your customer can scan the code with their phone and then enter their card details in the resulting page. Each QR code link is unique, so you can generate one for each of your customers, or for each order that you get.

Cash can still be king

It may sometimes feel like we live in a frictionless, cash-free culture, but cash still has its place. If all your card payment systems are down then don’t be scared to take cash – just keep a note of your transactions so you can log them all on ANNA.

And most of all, remember that if you do experience any issues, ANNA’s customer support team is there to support you 24/7.

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