Square’s payment and merchant services are down [Update: It’s fixed]

Square for Retail

Square’s merchant authentication service is currently down, meaning that if you want to buy that coffee or get lunch from a food truck, you might want to carry some cash with you. The company has identified the cause, but does not have an estimated time for when a fix will be implemented.

Only Square Cash is unaffected by this outage, which has lasted for more than an hour. Payments, Point of Sale, and dashboard services worldwide are experiencing issues as are Square’s appointments, payroll, API, app marketplace, Capital, commerce, customer engagement, employee management, gift cards, hardware, invoices, items, and phone support.

The good thing? Caviar is not down, meaning you can still get food delivered for lunch.

Merchants impacted by this outage have been advised to switch to offline mode in order to continue taking swipe payments. However, if they’re not logged into Square, accepting alternative forms of payment are recommended.

Please bring cash if you're headed our way. Massive global Square outage (our register app)… https://t.co/PSN2e8nbPv

— Hopscotch Coffee (@hopscoffee) March 16, 2017

A massive outage like this has not been a common occurrence with Square. The last significant incident appears to have occurred in 2012, when an hour-long downtime affected the company’s website and “some payments.”

While it’s not unexpected for companies to have issues like this, it could cause some merchants to express discontent and ponder whether other services might be better suited. Additionally, it might affect interest in Square among larger businesses. Significant downtime for any service can have such an influence, but other times it could not.

VentureBeat obtained a statement provided by a Square spokesperson: “One of our backend systems is currently experiencing issues that are affecting payments and other Square services. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and are providing real-time updates to our sellers on issquareup.com.”

Updated as of 11:41 a.m. Pacific on Thursday: Included statement from Square. Corrected to say that Caviar is not impacted by this outage.

Updated as of 12:35 p.m. Pacific on Thursday: Square said that it has “fully restored payments and most Square services,” but cautions that it’s still experiencing issues relating to two-factor authentication and is also working with a third-party partner to resolve.

“Our sellers depend on Square to run their businesses, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption to both our sellers and their customers today.”

In an updated statement, the company said: “We have fully restored payments and Square services for our sellers. Today’s outage was due to a change we made to one of our back-end systems that resulted in capacity issues. 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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