Random posts about nerdy stuff

PayPal thinks I’m a Terrorist

August 17, 2007

I have this convenient method for clients to pay me using PayPal with or without a PayPal account. Unfortunately, if the payment is greater than a particular amount, PayPal refuses it based on the assumption that it is potentially a transaction to or from a terrorist. What did PayPal suggest as a fix? “Just wait 24 hours and try again”, is what they said. What!?! Even the guy I spoke to at PayPal thought it was an odd rule/solution.Never would have known if my client hadn’t notified me they couldn’t get through. Here’s what they (my client) said:

I tried paying my bill via your PayPal interface, but I got this message: “The credit card you entered cannot be used for this payment. Please enter a different credit card number.” I don’t think it’s a data-entry problem, cuz I re-entered it twice w/ the same result. Any ideas? Cuz I’d sure love to get my air miles for this payment!! 😉

Naturally, I called PayPal right away and asked what’s up. Glad I did, though. This isn’t something I found in any of the poorly-documented documentation I was able to get my hands on when signing up for my business account. Well, all of that being said, I still highly recommend PayPal for most purposes and will continue to offer the “pay online” option to my clients.

So, after many calls to PayPal and talking to many different phone representatives, it’s been concluded that PayPal’s Business Premier account DOES have limits on the amout of per-request transactions for non-PayPal users (ie: plain credit card transactions). PayPal’s only suggestions were a) have the client sign up for a paypal account, or b) break the invoice into 6 or 7 transactions…. WHAT?!? Who wants to go through a checkout process 6 or 7 times for a single invoice? I’m not going to do that to my clients, there’s no way. Unfortunate, though, that I can no longer recommend PayPal for anything but small transactions.