Evertec’s Red ATH Payments System Back Online After 2-hour Outage
SAN JUAN — Island merchants were slowly getting access back online to Evertec’s Red ATH electronic payments network around 7 p.m. after suffering a massive service interruption around 5 p.m.
Evertec is Puerto Rico’s largest electronic payments processor, practically serving all financial institutions and merchants on the island.
The two-hour disruption left merchants without being able to process electronic payments from debit or credit cards, as well as customers without access to automated teller machines, or ATMs, to withdraw cash to complete their transactions. Some online transactions were affected as well, with local cards being declined when attempting to rent a movie on Apple’s iTunes video service, for example.
Many merchants and customers resorted to complete their sales transactions using cash and/or checks.
The origin of the system’s interruption remains unknown. However, a heavier number of transactions than usual were reported as consumers ran to convenience stores to buy Powerball tickets for today’s drawing. The jackpot is of a record $900 million.
“At Evertec, we are confronting a service interruption, which is affecting ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals at businesses. We are working hard to solve the problem as soon as possible,” Alan Cohen, Evertec executive vice president of marketing & communications said in a prepared statement.
The service interruption was detected between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., affecting the customers of all the financial institutions on the island, Cohen added.
Some merchants were reporting that the system was back online at around 7 p.m., but Cohen reiterated Evertec technicians were still working making sure the system remained stable and consistent.
The system, Cohen added, needed to be restarted, requiring it to be turned off and back on, just like a computer when it crashes, he explained.