German Bank Cards Affected By Year 2010 Glitch

ATM and Debit cards issued by several German banks have been rendered useless due to an unprecedented glitch in the microchips embedded in many of the cards as the chips were unable to recognise the year 2010.

The DSGV, Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband, an association representing several German banks, reported that a team of dedicated engineers was working to fix the problem which has resulted in bank customers being unable to make purchases or cash withdrawals.

According to the Register, DSGV has reported that around 20 million Electronic Cash Card users were affected with the "date bug" along with 3.5 million credit card users.

Another major bank association, BDB, said that 2.5 million issued by it suffered from the same problem. The German cooperatives banks reported only 4 million cards issued by them were only partially affected.

However, all German banks have confirmed that the security of the cards had not been compromised and have reassured their customers that the problem will be as soon as possible.

Interestingly, the inability of computer systems to properly handle the change of decade has hit the IT sector apart from the German banking sector as several prominent IT services providers reported problems caused due to the "date bug".

Symantec Endpoint Security Manager was unable to accept updates after the dates changed when the clock struck midnight.

Our Comments

Significantly, many German tourists abroad were left penniless as their cards were not compatible. It also means that there might be other similar bugs lurking from behind the shadows and which remain to be discovered.

Related Links

Year 2010 bug wreaks havoc on German payment cards

(The Register)

Problems obtaining cash from German ATMs - Update

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'Year 2010' software glitch hits German bank cards

(Financial Times)

New year bug causes German credit and cash card crisis