Irish Bank Outage Points Out POS Vulnerabilities

On Tuesday (May 5) , the National Irish Bank (NIB) reported that "technology problems were behind the failure of its debit and credit cards at point-of-sale machines in shops and other businesses across the country" earlier that day. But while the unspecified glitch was resolved within a few hours, retail POS issues continued, prompting the bank to "apologize unreservedly," according to The Irish Times.

Here's where it gets interesting. The bank issued a statement that "as soon as the problem was identified, the network was switched to a back-up system and National Irish Bank customers are able to access their funds at the bank's ATMs as normal now." But what about Ireland's retailers, whose transactions were halted? No emergent backup system for them? Another reminder that banks know ATMs and vaults, but POS is a new and lower priority concept.