PayPal come clean on eCheques

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There’s some good news for any seller who has been frustrated with eCheques today. PayPal have at last updated their communications to buyers and give a more realistic seven to nine working days expectation for them to clear.

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Your eCheque payment will remain ‘Uncleared’ until the funds clear from you account, which usually takes 7-9 working days. If you are purchasing an item to be shipped, your seller may not ship the item until the funds have cleared.

Previously this read “3-4 working days” setting unrealistic expectations for buyers, leaving sellers to convey the bad news they were unlikely to receive their goods for a couple of weeks.

I still think taking over a week to clear a payment (normally about 10-12 days including weekends) is far too long in today’s electronic world. I’d like to see PayPal reduce the clearance time in the near future. In the mean time telling buyers just how long it will take their payment to clear is an improvement.

The email that goes to sellers has been updated too and is more clearly titled “PayPal payment not completed yet”. Strangely it finishes with “For any further questions please contact Customer Support from Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 7 pm by dialing 0180 500 66 27 (14 cents/min. using Deutsche Telekom).” Being based in the UK I’m not likely to phone a German PayPal number but I’m sure they’ll amend it to a UK number soon.

13 Responses

  1. I absolutely applaud PayPal changing the email to reflect the reality here rather than what goes on in the US, but I am not convinced it’s going to make any difference in practice when buyers want to know why they have to wait ten days for their item to ship.

    The average buyer (unless they’ve been through it all before) doesn’t have a clue what an echeque is, how it differs from a normal PP payment, or how they came to pay with an echeque “when PayPal always goes through immediately”. Most of them won’t read the email – why would they when it’s telling them what they already know, that they made a PP payment.

    I think sellers are still going to have to work with buyers on this one. The only real breakthrough is that we can now point to the email the buyer just got from PayPal as proof that we’re not just being difficult!

  2. I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for the buyers email to say “If you are purchasing an item to be shipped, your seller may not ship the item until the funds have cleared” and the sellers email to say “Please hold delivery of any goods until the payment is shown as ‘Completed’ in your PayPal account.“.

    It is a great step forward though, as you say at least we can point out it’s PayPal slowing the transaction down ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. As I understand it, the reason for the delay in Paypal to UK bank transfers is :

    PayPals banking is in the USA, monies have to go from the UK to the USA and back again to the UK, hence downloading (or uploading) to or from a UK bank takes longer than from or to a USA bank which is normally within a few days,

  4. Eddie, that’s not a *reason* for the delay – that’s an excuse.

    I wonder if some of the slowness of transfers in general isn’t legacy from PayPal’s original business model – which was to not charge fees, but to make their money from the cash held in people’s PP accounts.

  5. Have to echo Sue’s last comment.

    I have always said that was the reason, not only for the long delays on echeques, but also for the unacceptable 7 days for withdrawals to bank.

    Too many people in the transit chain to get their 24 hours on the overnight money market with our money.

    And why is it that PayPal US is the only country paying interest to users on funds in account?

  6. Hi

    I found out paypal is sending my payments as echeques despite my account being fine up to now. Im getting sellers telling me they dont accept echeques, which iss fine as i didnt choose to send them An australian ebay discussion is raising the same issue. If Id wanted echeques Id have looked for that serrvice. I wanted instant payment, ort at least something simpler than writing on bits of paper. Maybe paypal is using elves or something.

  7. I recently bought a digital camera on and I have only recently opened a UK PayPal account. I have moved from Germany to the UK in summer this year. I do have a british bank account and a debit card. Still the only option PayPal offered me for my very first payment was echeque. I have read the sentence telling me, that it might take 7 to 9 working days for the echeque to be cleared on the sellers account. I just ignored it, cause I thought it works as quick as PayPal in Germany usually does. In Germany you can pay with your bank accout and it takes PayPal a maximum of 10 minutes to put a payment through. I now experience the hard to understand truth that an echeque really takes 7 to 9 working days to come through. I have placed the payment on the 14th and it is still not cleared until today. Even though they have taken the money out of my account on Thursday already.
    PayPal UK is doing crap here. Those transactions simply go from one computer to the other. There is absolutely no reason for this kind of payment to take 7 to 9 working days to come through. I hate it, when people play with MY money and cash in the interest on it, while they tell me, that this is the normal process.
    I also find it kind of weird, that right after I placed the echeque payment, I was told that I could register my debit card and send out instant payments. Why haven’t they said that before? UNFAIR! I want my camera! I don’t have the money anymore. WHERE IS IT? I would have been very happy to pay instantly. ARRRRGH!

  8. Tom, the best thing to do in this case is probably to ask your seller to refund the echeque, add your debit card to the PayPal account, and then pay them again. That way it *should* go through as an instant payment. Sorry you’ve had such a troublesome start!

  9. eCheques are the most annoying payment method for a seller and the most frustrating for a buyer. I see no reason for PayPal in the UK to carry on wrecking havoc with the buyer experience until such time as they can clear them in a resonable time span. It’s quite honestly pathetic ๐Ÿ™


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