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Glitch zaps some cash cards - from The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/biz0107g.htm
Jan. 7 - ALAMOSA - When businessman Richard Nagley used his Liberty Cash card to mail a package from the Alamosa post office on Tuesday, the clerk's computer rejected it and he had to write a check instead. The same thing happened Wednesday and again Thursday.
Nagley's card wasn't the only one refused. There are more than 112,000 Liberty Cash cards in use from California to Florida, said Al DeSarro, a Postal Service spokesman in Denver. An unknown number of those cards, distributed from 2,800 post offices across the country, are affected, he said. The problem is a software glitch with contractor First Data Merchant Systems, DeSarro said. He said it's not a Y2K glitch, even though the problem cropped up after Jan. 1. "We're asking our customers to bear with us for a few days," DeSarro said. "We've been assured that First Data will solve the problem ... real soon." Pete Ziverts, First Data's vice president for corporate communications in Denver, said the affected debit cards expired Dec. 31 but should have automatically been extended.
"They are rejecting it because of the date," Nagley said. "Why is this not a Y2K problem? Duh."
-- ExCop (email@example.com), January 10, 2000
And Still More
It's in today's Wall Street Journal 01/07/00, page A6.
LA Times wrote yesterday evening http://www.latimes.com/news/reports/millennium/y2k/20000106/ t000001994.html): A credit- and debit-card processing problem-- stemming from a Y2K-related software glitch--is causing thousands of Visa and MasterCard customers around the world to be repeatedly charged for the same transaction.
It was unclear how many customers have been affected, but officials said they believed the foul-up was not widespread. "We don't think this is huge but we don't have any numbers," said Sharon Gamsin, a MasterCard spokeswoman. Nevertheless, the glitch is the most significant Y2K problem faced thus far by the U.S. financial services industry. Because the problem stems from the merchant software, and not the bank or credit card issuer, officials believe that American Express and Discover cardholders also may be vulnerable. Officials at the two credit card giants couldn't be reached for comment late Thursday. Officials at San Francisco- based Wells Fargo Bank said they have detected problems with about 70 of the 1,300 merchants that use the CyberCash system. The bank does not know how many of its customers have been affected, but it estimated that less than 1% have been overcharged.
The company writes (http://cybercash.com/cybercash/company/news/releases/2000/0 0jan6y2kstatement.html):
"Statement from CyberCash on Payment Software and Y2K
ALAMEDA, CALIF. (January 6, 2000) - CyberCash, Inc. today reminded merchants using payment software ICVERIFY, NetVERIFY, PCVERIFY and EZCharge that they must upgrade to Y2K compliant versions to avoid problems in processing transactions.
CyberCash noted that some merchants failed to upgrade their payment software, despite efforts by the company to inform them that a Y2K upgrade was required.
Beginning in December 1998, CyberCash posted information about the Year 2000 issue on its Web site (www.cybercash.com). CyberCash first notified users in February 1999 that upgrades would be required and urged software users to return to the Web site periodically as upgrades became available.
CyberCash also mailed postcards to registered customers and processors informing them of the need to upgrade to Y2K compliant software products. The upgrades were free and available through an 800-number or were downloadable from the Web (http://www.cybercash.com/cybercash/y2k/y2k_upgrades.html).
Unfortunately, some merchants did not download and install the free Y2K compliant upgrades and these merchants are now experiencing problems of duplicate transactions associated with the year 2000 rollover.
Merchants using Windows version 2.25 or higher or those using DOS or UNIX products 6.63 or higher are Y2K compliant and should not have any difficulties.
CyberCash once again reminds merchants to visit our Web site to download the Y2K software to avoid any transaction processing difficulties, or call 1-800-900-6133."
-- ExCop (Yinadral@hotmail.com), January 10, 2000.
"He said it's not a Y2K glitch, even though the problem cropped up after Jan. 1."
Hawk says it is a Y2K glitch.
"said the affected debit cards expired Dec. 31 but should have automatically been extended."
Hawk says maybe the reason they weren't "automatically extended" is because they had some problems dealing with the year "00".
Hawk says a lot of money is being drawn out of banks and into circulation because plastic money is becoming too difficult to use. Hawk says make sure you have a good chunk of change out of the banks in case everyone else gets the same idea.
-- Hawk (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2000.