PayPal Faster Payments incur 21 hour holds

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PayPal have been rolling out Faster Payments to their users and it appears that they’re available to most users now, as promised. However I’ve had two people email me over the weekend with muted delight at the Faster Payments. Far from accessing your cash within minutes PayPal appear to have implemented security checks for a large number of people meaning it’s still a day before they get their funds in their bank account.

The message users receive is “For security reasons, we’ve had to delay your withdrawal request while we review it. Your withdrawal request will be under review for up to 21 hours. After our review is complete, PayPal will release your funds. It can take an additional 2 hours for those funds to be deposited into your bank account“.

We’ve seen this before, however as David Brackin of Stuff U Sell (a long established eBay seller with a turnover of a million pounds a year) said “we’ve moved to 24hr transfers with this “security” review, which is a step in the right direction but isn’t the 2hrs expected”.

Faster Payments is intended in most cases to be instant, it’s accepted that at times it may take up to two hours, but with PayPal tacking on a 21 hour review, it’s hardly the “instant” that PayPal customers were expecting.

Another user Jan tells me “I searched this on Google and found that many other Paypal users are also,for the first time ever experiencing these so called “security” checks and all say the same that it has only started to happen since Paypal supposedly implemented the faster withdrawal system and dropped the £5 charge”.

David calculated the amount of cash PayPal are losing out of their “float” caused by reducing the transfer time from three days to one day. “Paypal processes over $80bn a year — which is £200m a working day. The UK is only a portion of that, but three days worth is a lot of cash to find if everyone withdraws their balance daily. By implementing a “security step” taking just less than 24hrs they save themselves £200m“.

Whilst we have no reason to believe PayPal is short of the odd £200m needed to pay out instantly rather than 24 hours it’s reasonable for users to ponder why they’re holding onto their cash for longer. Don’t forget these aren’t one off large transactions, these are long established businesses with regular cash flowing through their PayPal accounts.

No holds for spending money, only withdrawing

Faster Payments should be, well faster! They shouldn’t be subject to 21 hour holds in the name of security or what was the point of implementing them in the first place? It’s worth pointing out that the same 21 hour security holds do not apply if you try to spend your money by paying another merchant with your PayPal balance, it’s only if you want it in your bank account it gets held.

Come on PayPal, play the game. Give us our money when we want it, not anything up to 23 hours after we ask for it.

42 Responses

  1. .
    We’ve had this too on one account only.
    Our 2nd paypal account does not appear to be having this 21 hours imposed on it [and that’s a larger amount withdrawal]. Just done our transfer, so will check in the morning if the 2nd payment is in & what time it arrived.

    Thought it was us, ie; WE were being checked up on.

  2. Doesn’t this mean that PayPal is STILL lagging in its regulatory requirement to meet the Faster Payments rules?

    Instant withdrawels of legitimate funds to bank accounts should be just that.

    I think we need to press the question harder: why is PayPal dragging its heels in meeting its legal responsibilities?

  3. What I don’t get is that it’s almost certain these withdrawals will be to verified (and probably long standing) bank accounts, so it’s actually safer and more assured than a regular bank to bank transaction. The chance of an error is almost nil. What therefore can they possibly be running a security check on?

    If my PayPal account was hacked, the only bank account to withdraw to is my own!

  4. More to the point, withdrawals arent actually working at all at the moment! Looks like paypal have got a major issue have a look on the paypal forum

  5. Hi

    Glad to see these Faster Payments starting to happen.

    But just a small note, if you look at any of the faster payment methods they do say can take up to two hours to be received.

    Plus at times, so banks impose longer times the higher the amount being transferred. This is to protect them and the user.

    I think this is a move in the right direction and along with my Paypal Debit Card means I can have control over my money.

  6. What Paypal need to answer is why they don’t transfer instantaneously when both of my banks transfer instantaneously when I make a faster payment transfer (Santander/Alliance and Leicester and Barclays) These banks have similar track record info on my accounts and don’t impose any security check delay. And Paypal are trying to tell us they are innovative. A funny kind of innovation.

    For faster payments on Paypal do you need to select this option even though they still say on the web page it costs £5 or is it now the default option?

  7. Paypal is putting too much conditions for their users then why we don’t find any alternative like Payoneer or Moneybooker they also giving some good and faster payment options.

  8. I withdrew a small amount (£200) last Wednesday & received the same security message….. However, a little later I had to log into my Hsbc account to pay my credit card bills, & I was surprised to notice that the Paypal withdrawal made 10-15 minutes earlier was already in my account….So I would suggest actually checking your bank account- as I suspect that these security messages are probably a result of bad programming on the site.

  9. My transfer speed has gone from 2 days to 3. I assume this is still a trial thing at the moment

  10. PayPal have got programming issues – a lot of withdrawals over the past few days have had problems…

    I don’t think their system can cope with faster payments currently (one of their staff admitted as much) and not everyone has been migrated yet.

    When I consider the amount of money I give PayPal for processing my payments, it is pretty shocking.

  11. I have written to Paypal under the ‘File a complaint against paypal’ section of their website in the (vain) hope that it might produce a faster response.

    Nope. Nothing. I’m still getting my ‘security’ emails! I pointed out that what they’re doing is tantamount to fraud and that legal action would follow. Still nothing.

    Strangely….when I buy something there is no advisory email sent to me as a buyer stating that the seller may delay sending the item as there was a problem with paypal. So, they’re still happy to accept payments even though the money cannot be withdrawn!

    I have transferred money from my business account to my wife’s standard account and withdrawn it – no ‘security’ email there!!

    Class action anyone?

  12. I did a withdrawl today and received a “Security checks, 24 hours plus 2 hours” notice on screen.
    I checked my bank account 2 mins later and the money was there.

    It took longer than that for paypal to send me email notification of the transaction, which included a note saying it would take up to 2 hours.

    While I am happy at the vastly reduced waiting time I really don’t like being told two differing stories about the whereabouts of my cash.

  13. Class action?

    I guess you have not received the same e-mail I have here in the Falklands about new terms and conditions which impose a binding agreement to arbitrate unless I opt-out and accept the exclusive jurisdiction of the Utah courts instead!!! Oh, and class actions are specifically ruled out. Not to mention the new limitation of liability clause.

  14. I’ve had every attempted withdrawal from the 22nd either bounced straight back or security checked & then bounced back,

    After speaking to, and I use the term loosely, customer services, it’s down to a glitch & it’s affecting 1000s according to the chap who looked into it.

  15. This is a summary as I understand it, I hope that others will correct any errors.

    In March 2007 PayPal was granted a banking license for the European Union by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg.

    They are regulated by the CSSF and this should link to their (English) form for sending a complaint by email:

    On 2nd July 2007, after PayPal became licensed as a Bank in Luxembourg, they signed up with the UK Financial Ombudsman Service to join their voluntary jurisdiction by contractual agreement. They were not required by law to join the voluntary jurisdiction, but in doing so they formally agreed to deal with complaints – and comply with FOS decisions – in the same way as institutions under compulsory jurisdiction.

    This is a link to the FOS complaints procedure:

    (If you search in the PayPal user agreement you will find much the same thing under ‘Resolving Disputes’)

    I wish you well!

  16. Update.

    The problem still hasn’t been resolved with close to 4 figures now tied up in the account.

    Apparently the problem has been fixed so they are now investigating why my account is still bouncing withdrawals back & have given me £10 for the inconvenience.

  17. The big scandle is why Amazon hold money for 2 weeks and then transfer times take 1 week to process. I have to hold my sales at about 20k max a fortnight as I can’t bankroll any more. If only they would allow 1,2 or 3day transfers. Why do thy do this it’s jut a big rip off

  18. We are still (as of 17/9) having the so-called ‘security review’ on every withdrawal. Is anyone NOT having this any more? Is it perhaps the first x number of withdrawals (we’ve done 4 so far)?

    In the past, we would use the ‘speedy’ service and pay the £5 fee whenever we needed to get the money quickly and if we withdrew by 11:00am it was in our account by 2:30pm the same day – this process was at least 95% reliable.

    Now so called Faster Payments has arrived – and we have to wait till the next day for our money.

    No, I haven’t bothered to phone Paypal customer support but the business bank account we’re withdrawing to has been linked and verified for over 4 years. There can be no legitimate ‘security’ issue involved.

  19. After speaking with Paypal at the end of last week as we have £000’s every day being held after withdrawal they have informed me it should be resolved within 2 weeks.

    The agent told me this is not down to a security issue, its the excuse that customers are being giving, it is actually down to a technical issue with Paypal’s withdrawal system and tech bods are working to get it resolved ASAP. Paypal are having to manually push the payments through their system once a customer requests the withdrawal.

    Hopefully in less than 2 weeks this should be resolved!

  20. I’ve been withdrawing my PayPal funds from the same computer, a couple of times a week, for the past 2 years.

    Now that Paypal is compelled to offer ‘faster transfers’ without charge, it suddenly decides that it needs to conduct a 21 hour review each time I withdraw my funds.

    Review? Review what? They have all the info on me that they need and the withdrawals come from the same computer as before.

    This feels like cynical avoidance of the regulations in an attempt to cling on to their interest earnings.


  21. I have been withdrawing money everyday at the same time now for over a year now.

    All of a sudden, I am now being ‘security checked’. Every single withdrawal since the fast withdrawal started.

    Hopefully, if the above is correct, it should be resolved soon though.

  22. On the first occasion that I phoned PP business support to ask about this issue, the funds appeared within 30 minutes and a ‘PP Survey’ hit my email 5 minutes after that.

    On the second occasion that I phoned them, after my funds still hadn’t hit my account 48 hours after withdrawal, I received no follow-up survey email.

    Don’t computer systems throw up some quirky coincidences? 😉

  23. Yep same for me. Got withdrawals pending for over 24 hours. Paypal assistant admits my withdrawal will now get bounced back after 72 hours and only then can then manually push it through. I didnt get an email at all

    Fortunately have an access card so can still get my money out (at a price) BUT this is the last straw. Have been moving my business further away from ebay and back to selling face to face at markets and fairs again like the old days

  24. I have made three withdrawals, all over 1k, all have been delayed 24 hours.

    This is on a well established account.

    Someone says its because they have a software problem and are having to do it manually. For every withdrawal????

    and it it always takes just 24 hours give or take a few minutes.
    Sounds very suspicious to me.


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