2010 Programming Glitch Knocks Out 30 Million Credit/Debit Cards In Germany

In what's being described as a delayed Y2K programming issue, the move to 2010 has apparently shut down some 30 million cash and credit cards since New Year's Day, according to data available Tuesday (Jan. 5) from the country's three largest banking associations, according to this Wall Street Journal story. The problem was tied to a chip in the smarts that wasn't able to properly process the year 2010.

Interestingly enough, U.S. retailers were, for the most part, spared this problem for their domestic stores because smart cards are still a minority of the cards in use. See? Being backward can have its advantages. It reminds me of a conversation I had at a restaurant tradeshow in mid-December 1999, where I was seated with the CIOs of several huge restaurant chains. When asked if they feared the weeks-awayY2K moment, all said they didn't. "Yeah," I agreed. "Most upgrades have cleaned up the issue." No, you don't understand, the CIOs said. "We're not worried because most of our stores are still using DOS."