In January in response to a BBC report by BBC MoneyBox’s Paul Lewis PayPal told us “We are in the process of implementing Faster Payments in the UK, to allow PayPal customers to move money from their PayPal account to their bank account”.
They explained that the delay was because PayPal were in the process of becoming the “first ever “Direct Agency” member of the Faster Payment scheme. This will mean that although PayPal is not a UK Bank it will give its UK customers the same almost instant real time money transfers to bank accounts as offered by UK banks in the Faster Payments scheme“.
In May PayPal published policy updates which came into effect on the 12th of July and confirmed that Faster Payments were on the way. It should in all fairness to PayPal be noted that they told Tamebay at the time that they would “progressively roll out faster payments during summer and should be completed for all users by late summer“. The 12th July date was the earliest that this would start, not the completion date.
I’m still not getting Faster Payments, I did a test transfer on the 13th of July and at the time of writing the money is still not in my Bank Account. I have to say it doesn’t bother me that much, I’m not desperate for the cash, but it’s strange that the worlds leading electronic money company still can’t perform an instant electronic transfer to my bank.
There’s a lot to be said about why PayPal weren’t ready with Faster Payments by the 1st January 2012, but the fact is that they weren’t ready and becoming the first Direct Agency has taken time. However it now appears that PayPal are acknowledging that they should have been ready in time and are compensating users who complain.
We found a thread on the PayPal Community Help Forum where when a PayPal user complained about lack of Faster Payments reporting they were promised by email that PayPal would “Refund any £5 withdrawal fees which you have paid since 1 January 2012” and “Refund any future withdrawal fees which you incur on a weekly basis“.
Another user notes that if that’s the case they’re due a couple of hundred pounds refund.
If you’ve been paying £5 fees to have funds deposited in your bank account within 1-2 working days it might be worth asking for a refund. We don’t know if it’s a discretionary payment promised to just one user, or if it’s a routine refund available to anyone that complains, but there’s no harm at all in asking.
PayPal do aim to launch the Faster Payments process to a small percentage of users by the middle of 2012, with all customers able to use this service by the middle of Autumn.
18/07/12 Edited to add: A PayPal user has posted on the same thread on the PayPal community boards a new response from PayPal saying:
Thank you for contacting PayPal regarding the 5.00GBP withdrawal fees you have been charged for the faster withdrawals and the information you have seen on the community post. I can certainly understand your concern in this matter.
I have reviewed your request and I can confirm that this matter is currently being discussed and we will update you as soon as a decision is made.
I appreciate your understanding regarding this matter. Thank you for choosing PayPal.
Doesn’t look so hopeful for getting a refund. I wonder if it’s different PayPal reps having different knowledge of the situation or whether they’re just getting too many people asking for refunds?