updated 1/5/2010 11:14:37 AM ET 2010-01-05T16:14:37

Millions of German bank cards have been affected by a "millennium bug"-like problem because they contain software that can't process the number 2010, an industry group said Tuesday.

The DSGV group, which represents public-sector banks, said some 20 million debit cards issued by those banks were affected, along with around 3.5 million credit cards — nearly half of the total number of cards issued by those banks.

The group said cash machines were adjusted hours after the problem emerged to ensure that customers can withdraw money, but there may still be problems using some debit-card terminals. Those should be fixed by Monday, it said.

Problems remain with credit cards and customers should use debit cards instead for now, the group added.

Computer experts widely believed that hardware and software systems would fail as the clocks rolled over to the year 2000.

The problem, they said, would be caused when computers and other devices, which used only two digits to represent the year, mistook the year 2000 for the year 1900. In the end, however, the so-called "millennium bug" caused few problems.

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