PayPal crashes causing millions of users unable to access recent payments (myself included). I have noticed a lot of strange things happening with my PayPal account over the last few days, most notably not being able to log in for hours and not being able to transfer money to my bank account. Another reason to stockpile cash. Read more from Computing:
Electronic payments platform PayPal has been hit by a major systems failure worldwide. The fault rendered all new transactions made since the fault occurred invisible to both the sender and the recipient.
Some users reported that their account showed a reduced balance after making a transaction, but that the transaction itself was not listed. As a result, their money appeared to have “vanished into thin air”, according to one account holder.
Historical transactions were apparently not affected.
The problem began at approximately 17.00 UK time and hit every account in the world, according to a spokeswoman from the company’s customer service team. “No one can see any transactions,” she said. This apparently included PayPal staff: “We can’t see anyone’s activity logs,” she explained.
Computing broke the story at 19.30 UK time, and at 21.00 the problem still appeared to be ongoing.
Users were not informed of the system failure unless they contacted PayPal by phone, meaning that PayPal was “swamped” by complaints from every part of the world, with some customers making payments twice, believing that the error must have been theirs.
Asked why the company had not posted a warning on its website, PayPal told Computing that it “expected the problem would have been fixed [by now]”.
The problem also hit purchases made via PayPal on the platform of former owner, eBay. eBay’s annual revenues are in the order of $18bn, which means that roughly $2m of transactions were being affected by the fault every hour.
Many other outlets accept PayPal payments, including Asos, Topshop, Zara, Argos, John Lewis, British Airways, and thetrainline.com, potentially creating serious problems for both retailers and customers, with neither side knowing if payments had been made or received.
PayPal’s spokeswoman acknowledged that the fault lay in PayPal’s internal systems. “It is our technical problem,” she said, but was unable to confirm when the glitch would be fixed, or what had caused it.
However, she told Computing that all transactions should become visible once the error was located and fixed.
• Ironically, the system failure occurred only hours after PayPal was named as one of the most valuable global brands for 2015 by specialist consultancy Interbrand. PayPal made its debut entry on the Top 100 survey at 97.