Despite the rain, the Rovers Pub on the edge of Koreatown was packed this morning. South Korean and Uruguayan fans raucously cheered on their teams while eating eggs and bacon and sneaking in an early pint. As the game came to a close and the servers rushed around the bar processing bills, things got confusing.
“I’m really sorry but the system is down, so no credit cards,” the server told a patron at one end of the bar. “We called the credit card company and they said it’s because of the G20.”
The story quickly made its way around the bar.
“The system is being jammed by the G20,” said the people beside us.
“As if we’re committing some kind of terrorist transaction,” said the server.
“That’s sick,” said a soccer fan to my left. “It’s scary how they can just do that.”
When called for comment, a Visa service representative said that no major issues had been reported in Toronto so far. After double checking with his manager, the representative said he couldn’t imagine how anyone could “jam a signal.”
“If the system is overloaded with requests it can go offline for a short time, maybe that’s what’s happening,” he said. “Like if everyone is paying their bill at the same time after a World Cup match.”
A handful of downtown pubs we called all say their credit card systems are working fine, ready for the Ghana-USA soccer match this afternoon.
As for the Rovers, its credit card woes remain a mystery.