All Payment Systems Collapse in Venezuela at Once

Rampant inflation, highly devalued currency, widespread shortages of everything, including paper money...Makes me just want to get drunk, except I can't because the liquor store wont take my debit card.

I wish I knew how to write about this less apocalyptically, but what has been happening in Venezuela late yesterday and all day today is…truly bizarre. Layered on top of the shortage of cash people have been dealing with for two weeks now, with withdrawals capped at just Bs.10,000 (=$2.15) per day, the nation’s debit card payments backbone seems to have seized up and stopped working today.

Durante jueves y viernes distintos usuarios se han  quejado de la imposibilidad de pagar con tarjeta de débito o crédito a través de puntos de venta electrónicos. El problema está vinculado a que todas las personas están acudiendo al pago electrónico debido a la imposibilidad de retirar dinero en efectivo.

El pasado viernes 25 de noviembre la Asociación Bancaria de Venezuela emitió un comunicado, a través de su página web, en el que hace un llamado a sus clientes a utilizar los canales electrónicos en lugar del efectivo, debido a un proceso de ajuste para introducir los billetes del nuevo cono monetario.

Social media is shot through with reports of long waits for any sort of transaction, and many local bank websites have gone down under the strain of traffic, as well.

Long story short, it’s impossible to exchange money for goods and services in Venezuela right now. I’d write more but I have to look around my house to find something I can barter for food.


Emiliana Duarte

Emi is a cook, a lover of animals, politics, expletives, and Venezuela. She is the co-founder of Caracas Chronicles LLC and Managing Editor if the site until December 2017.