PayPal 21 hour holds are just a technical glitch

No primary category set

Far from money appearing in PayPal user’s bank accounts in the blink of an eye (and eight months after the government says it should have happened), many PayPal users have been complaining that transfers were taking anything up to 24 hours. PayPal 21 hour holds on Faster Payments was one of the most commented on article on Tamebay last month.

Now the BBC reports that PayPal have been hit by technical issues, (thanks to Andy of Little Sunflowers for the link). A PayPal statement reads “We have recently experienced technical issues that have resulted in more transactions than usual being reviewed, although most withdrawals are not subject to review, a minority of customers have been told it may take up to 24 hours for us to review the transaction. We expect to solve the technical issue by the end of the week“.

Apparently it wasn’t planned to increase the number of transactions subject to security reviews, so if you’re one of the people who have been caught it’s just bad luck. The system overloaded and couldn’t cope and you’ve not peronally been singled out for persecution by PayPal… it’s business as normal, just another glitch.

With a bit of luck within the next few days your Faster Payments PayPal transfers should be, well… Fast! If you’ve been hit with 21 day holds let us know if your money starts to magically appear instantly in your bank accounts. PayPal have promised the glitch will be fixed “by the end of the week”, but seeing as today is Friday that might mean it’ll be next week before you notice a change.

37 Responses

  1. hit and miss for weeks now, some go thru instantly, others in 24 hours, to be honest we dont mind waiting 24 hours as long as its reliable

  2. For a minority of customers, quite a high proportion of us Tamebay readers appear to have been unluckily singled out for persecution!

  3. Were these transactions actually really really being reviewed by real people, the mind truly boggles at the number of additional staff required.

  4. Interesting effect this week.

    We’ve had the 21 hour “security” delay in place now since moving to faster payment (and as I’ve noted previously — this is better than three days so progress of sorts).

    Yesterday — all of a sudden on of our regular transfers slipped straight into the account. No delay.

    I did a trial transfer after reading this post. Sure enough when I got to the confirmation page I had the usual warning that we’d be subject to the 21 hr checks.

    I hit the browser back button and resubmitted the request and – hey presto – instant transfer offered without the security checks. Clicked ok and the money appeared immediately in Lloyds.

    I don’t know if this “trying again” works for any other readers, but might be worth a try — you know whether there’s a security check before you commit to the transfer so you can keep trying till it disappears!

  5. How many transactions did they security check before faster payments (without telling the users as the time delay was not noticeable)?

    I thought that a BACS transfer was not any easier to reverse once it had been processed.

    I can understand transferring money to different accounts would be suspicious, but regular withdrawals to the same account would seem normal. (Each time I setup a new transfer my bank verifies it by calling my phone, subsequent transfers to the same destination do not get verified.)

  6. Its been 22 hours and theres still no sign off my money.
    Dont now why but maybe waiting a few more hours will be best. Dont get this new system as i prefere to pay tye fiver as i know ill get my money.

    Its time that PayPal realise that some people need the ASAP isnt that why they changed it.

  7. It quite bothered me as after 8 years withdrawing in to the same bank account this is the first time I was the subject of a security check. I don’t mind the problems, and sympathise with Paypal on this one, but the wording could have been better, how about just saying ‘initial technical problems may delay processing’.

  8. 24Hr Now Up. Still PayPal Page States Pending. Very Frustrated as Need Money by tomorrow morning.

    I run my own business and the basic knowledge tells your that dont promise what you cant deliver, Last time going to use PayPal.

  9. Money Just Hit My Account,

    Took 24hr 38 Minutes and 11 Seconds

    All I can say now is that frustrations over and that not so angry at the moment.

    To help All others give them about 25 hours tops and send them an email stating your a lawyer, just done this 2 hours ago and got a reply.

    Makes Me Think “Liars & Scared Thieves”?

  10. Like Dan I find this explanation hard to believe. I think it’s far more likely that PayPal have been wrapped over the knuckles over their tactics to keep users money for a day longer and they’ve dressed it up as a glitch.

  11. Current times for my current online marketplaces from requesting disbursement to appearing in my bank:

    Ebay via paypal payment – same day/24hrs
    Ebay via bacs payment from customer – same day
    Ebay via direct card payment – 3 working days
    Amazon – 5 working days (automatic withdraw at end of month) – 5 working days

    Potential (longest) time from “paid for sale*” to reach by bank:

    Ebay – same day/24hrs
    Amazon – 14 working days (21 days for & as they both place a 7 prior day to disbursement date hold on all sales) – 5 working days (as i can initiate a manual transfer each day)

    * I class e-cheques as paid when they have cleared

    Whilst i find it irritating that I am told it will be a same day transfer and I am subject to a security check and it takes 24hrs, its still faster than all the other methods of collecting payments from customers with the exception of a direct bacs transfer from a customer & a customer paying cash in my shop (and even then I have to go to the bank to deposit it)


  12. Nearly 22 hours for me now, still says pending. Paypal has always been a horrible horrible thing. People only use it cos Ebay forces them via its monopoly…

  13. Hi,

    Tried the back forth thing, took 4 attemps to get it to say it wouldn’t be security checked and would be in the bank in 2 hours… pressed continued… looked at Paypal and it said “pending” next to the withdrawal.

    Got an email saying it would be security checked… sigh.

    Fail 🙁

  14. I did a withdrawal this morning. Got the 4hr message on the screen. Confirmed as I’d like the cash today to put an stock order in, but don’t need it in the next minute. Got a confirmation of the 4hr message.

    Got an email saying 72 hrs.

    This is an embarrassment. I don’t understand why there are any “security” checks in place as this really is a farce, not an enhancement of security. Security is there to stop bad guys and let good guys in. Which does this “security step” purport to do. This is no more than theatre.

    Surely it can be turned off until fixed?

  15. It looks like the back and forth loophole has been closed. Amazing that they’ve managed that over a weekend to be in place for Monday morning with 3 days takings waiting to be withdrawn by many sellers.

    I don’t believe for one minute this is a glitch. Just stalling because presumably PayPal don’t actually have the money to pay out instantly when everyone withdraws on a Monday. As David says, it’s a farce. But then what else would be expect from PayPal/eBay? :-/

  16. Have just done a withdrawal and have received the 4 hour security check (plus 2 hours to deposit). This has reduced from the 21 hours we got on Friday.

  17. Well the first withdrawal of the day didn’t make it to us in 4 hours, so I guess we’ll be waiting several days for that.

    We made a smaller withdrawal later on which is being held for four hours, according to the screen and email — so it looks like that will overtake the other one in the security queue.

    I can’t imagine why one would be treated differently from the other — except that the first one was ten times bigger. I’m starting to wonder how glitchy this glitch really is. Certainly seems pretty convenient for Paypal from a cash-flow perspective. I wonder if they aren’t able to meet their debts as they fall due.

  18. Just paid my eBay fee’s for September and the payment whizzed out of my Paypal account faster than greased lightening. I thought great stuff, being as they seem to have this sorted I’ll transfer whats left into my bank account, you got it, my withdrawal got slapped with the dreaded security review.

    Starting to get miffed off by all the clueless statements from support, no help whatsoever, all scripted BS.

  19. I would assume all messages about time are a lie, the second time i’ve tried the back forth method, both times to be told “2 hours” only to see “pending” at paypal and an email saying my withdrawal is under review.

    This is every withdrawal for the past two weeks… knowing how Paypal work its making my arse twitchy when they do this.

  20. Certainly not fixed, no mention of 24 hours when I did the withdrawl but then got the ‘we are reviewing your withdrawal request’ email and now showing as pending in PayPal

  21. It’s not fixed. Everything I have withdrawn this weekend has been “security checked”. Even a withdrawl for £4.07 has been subjected to a security check. Such nonsense and lies by Paypal. Why can’t they treat their customers as grown-ups and admit they can’t pay out immediately because the funds aren’t actually there to pay out? I for one would have more respect for them. I also note that there is no message on their website to explain the so called glitch. They hide behind the annonimity provided by a website. Nobody takes responsibility. They and others operate a two tier customer sevice level. They expect their users to deliver top end customer service or be penalised, but they themselves fall well short of providing top level service for their own customers.

  22. I’ve been hit by the withdrawal glitch every time… however.. just gone to withdraw now, before submitting it said it would be subject to a 4 hour security check. Following someone’s advice on here (sorry… I can’t remember who) I clicked back and tried again and no security check… apparently it’ll be in my account in 2 hours…

  23. Still 24 hours here, despite the email saying 4 hours for review (plus 2 to deposit).

    “Apparently it wasn’t planned to increase the number of transactions subject to security reviews, so if you’re one of the people who have been caught it’s just bad luck.”

    24 hours every time, for me! I’m either exceptionally unlucky or that statement is a complete load of bo**ocks!!

    A mixture of incompetence, indifference and arrogance would be a more truthful-sounding summary of Paypal’s performance here.

  24. I’m currently waiting over 26 hours now for my latest withdrawal yesterday, after the initial “within 2 hours” message.
    I withdraw cash virtually every day from Paypal and it’s hit and miss whether it’s within 2 hours as promised or 24 hours.
    Sorry, Paypal are lying, it’s definitely not fixed.


Why are more SMEs starting to accept American Express?

Why are more SMEs starting to accept American Express?

Amazon Disbursements held due to unmet UK business establishment requirements unfreeze disbursements says Minister

Enterprise minister tells Amazon unfreeze disbursements

Amazon Disbursements held due to unmet UK business establishment requirements unfreeze disbursements says Minister

Amazon Disbursements held due to unmet UK business establishment requirements

Ecommerce SNAFU - Swearing & Cancelled Deliveries

Ecommerce SNAFU – Swearing & Cancelled Deliveries

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars