Square, a popular service for processing credit card payments, went down briefly Thursday afternoon, cutting into business at some food trailers and other merchants at South by Southwest.
By 3 p.m., service had been restored, according to a Square spokeswoman who said the outage was “due to a change we made to one of our back-end systems that resulted in capacity issues.”
Square said it began investigating “multiple outages impacting various Square services” about noon Austin time.
The company told businesses that use its technology to either switch to offline mode – which enables customers to swipe their cards and have charges go through once Internet connectivity is restored – or to accept alternative forms of payment, such as cash.
Many businesses that count on Square took to social media to warn customers, including The Brew and Brew in East Austin, which Tweeted: “Bring cash with you to #SXSW today. @Square is down worldwide.”
About 2 p.m., Square said its engineers were hard at work and were “seeing initial positive improvements in response to the steps we have taken to remove load from the affected service.”
“Service has returned to near-normal levels,” the company said in a message on its website. “It is possible that some intermittent issues may occur for the next 15 minutes, but functionality should largely be restored. If you continue to experience issues, please try standard app troubleshooting, i.e., quit and restart your app – DO NOT delete the app.”
Square also offered up an apology: “We take outages extremely seriously; our sellers depend on Square to run their businesses, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption to both our sellers and their customers.”
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