Visa says a problem that left thousands of people across Europe unable to use their cards was caused by a hardware fault, not a cyberattack.

The card payments company says services, , which can process up to 65,000 payments a second, are back to normal and its systems are working at "full capacity" on Saturday.

It says the problem was caused by "a hardware failure within one of our European systems" and wasn't the result of "unauthorized access."

Consumers in Britain, Ireland and other European countries reported having credit and debit card payments declined on Friday, and many businesses said they couldn't process Visa transactions. Over £13 in every £3 spent in the UK is on a Visa card.

The bank HSBC said Friday that the "industry-wide issue" affected Visa payments, though ATM machines were still working.

The Telegraph reported that supermarkets were unable to process payments on Friday, forcing customers to leave trolleys full of their weekly shopping at the till and that drivers described the Severn Crossing heading into Wales as "hell on earth" as people struggled to pay the toll during the Friday night rush hour.