It later said on Twitter that "there are still intermittent issues but services are slowly recovering".
The disruption is also affecting some online transactions, the company said.
Visa admitted it had not achieved its goals of having its network operating all of the time and said the fault was "the result of a hardware failure".
Some social media users saw a lighter side to the disruption today, joking about cards being declined in famously affordable stores such as Primark and speculating about the response of the Queen, who is said to never carry cash. "We are working with your banks to resolve this".
"The technical issue we experienced yesterday has been resolved".
VISA released a statement saying: "Visa is now experiencing a service disruption".
Users across the United Kingdom and the Continent were affected, although the problems were worse in some places than others.
Visa confirmed they were experiencing a "service disruption" rendering thousands upon millions of customers' cards rendered useless in trying to pay for goods and services. We will keep you updated. The Bank of England, which regulates Visa in the United Kingdom, said it is aware of the issue and is working with the company to solve the problem.
Still, ATM transactions are not affected and so aren't Mastercard and American Express, so consumers have backup payment options.
Cornerstone Capital Inc. reduced its stake in Visa (NYSE:V) by 3.8% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC.
Russian Federation was spared the chaos as it has its own National Payment Card System (NPCS) to prevent western sanctions creating a financial crisis.
Meanwhile, Visa Card users will hope it's just a few hours glitch and that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.
People were unable to pay for food, trains tickets and about everything.