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System outage prevents adding Visa cards to Apple Pay

Apple reported an unusual network problem on Wednesday, preventing some owners of Visa credit or debit cards from adding them to Apple Pay.

Difficulties began shortly after 4 a.m. Eastern time and are still ongoing, according to Apple's official system status page. As is normal the company hasn't identified the cause of the issue, or said when it might be resolved.

Crucially, people who already have Visa cards listed with Apple Pay should still be able to make payments online or at retail.

While Apple regularly experiences outages with services like iCloud, iTunes, or the App Store, Apple Pay is typically immune. To date there has been no major downtime for the service, and indeed only a small subset of people are currently being impacted.

Apple will expand Apple Pay's footprint throughout 2016. In the U.S. the service should reach new merchants like Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, KFC, and JCPenney, while elsewhere it will continue to gain its first toeholds in countries like China, Spain, and Singapore.