Software defect hits millions of German bank cards

January 5, 2010

(AP) -- Millions of German bank cards have been affected by a "millennium bug"-like problem because they contain software that can't process the number 2010, industry groups said Tuesday.

The DSGV group, which represents public-sector banks, said some 20 million debit cards issued by those banks were affected, along with around 3.5 million credit cards - nearly half of the total number of cards issued by those banks.

The group said cash machines were adjusted hours after the problem emerged to ensure that customers could withdraw money, but there may still be problems using some debit-card terminals. Those should be fixed by Monday, it said.

Problems remain with credit cards and customers should use debit cards instead for now, added the group.

The BVR group of cooperative banks said about 4 million debit cards issued by its members - about 15 percent of the total - also were afflicted by the faulty software, although there were no problems withdrawing cash. Its credit cards were unaffected.

Another 2.5 million cards issued by German private banks were affected.

The problem stemmed from a chip on the cards which, due to a programming fault, wouldn't correctly process the number 2010.

Computer experts widely believed that hardware and software systems would fail as the clocks rolled over to the year 2000.

The problem, they said, would be caused when computers and other devices, which used only two digits to represent the year, mistook the year 2000 for the year 1900. In the end, however, the so-called "millennium bug" caused few problems.

Explore further: 2010 tech bug hits German credit cards

0 shares

Related Stories

2010 tech bug hits German credit cards

January 4, 2010

Many Germans have been hit by a computer bug linked to the year 2010 that has rendered their credit cards useless, the ZKA banking commission said on Monday.

Credit Card Users With Highest Balances Pay Lowest Rates

June 20, 2005

People who hold credit cards with the lowest interest rates are not the ones you might expect – they're the borrowers who carry the highest credit card debt, according to new research. The assumption has been that credit ...

Recommended for you

What can snakes teach us about engineering friction?

May 21, 2018

If you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake. That's the theory driving the research of Hisham Abdel-Aal, Ph.D., an associate teaching professor from Drexel University's College of Engineering ...

Flexible, highly efficient multimodal energy harvesting

May 21, 2018

A 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezoelectric composites may be possible using a piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support, according to Penn ...

Self-assembling 3-D battery would charge in seconds

May 17, 2018

The world is a big place, but it's gotten smaller with the advent of technologies that put people from across the globe in the palm of one's hand. And as the world has shrunk, it has also demanded that things happen ever ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.