Coinbase and Visa are at odds over who caused excess charges on credit and debit cards for some customers purchasing cryptocurrencies on Coinbase’s platform. Though Visa and payment processor Worldpay have reportedly now stated the issue wasn’t Coinbase’s fault, customers remained angry at the trouble caused.
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Debit Accounts Drained, Excess Withdrawal Charges
Whoever is at fault, the problem will likely not help the recent campaign by banks to block cryptocurrency-related transactions with their credit and debit cards.
The problem reportedly began on Thursday morning when Coinbase customers began complaining they’d been charged from twice to dozens of times for single purchases made in the past few weeks.
Adding insult to injury, the excess charges also drained balances from debit card accounts and even incurred overdraft fees from providers.
Coinbase posted a statement on its company blog, supposedly a “joint statement from Visa and Worldpay for Coinbase customers”. It absolved Coinbase of blame and said all erroneous charges have been reversed, returning funds and other fees to users.
This issue was not caused by Coinbase.
Worldpay and Coinbase have been working with Visa and Visa issuing banks to ensure that the duplicate transactions have been reversed and appropriate credits have been posted to cardholder accounts. All reversal transactions have now been issued, and should appear on customers’ credit card and debit card accounts within the next few days. We believe the majority of these reversals have already posted to accounts. If you continue to have problems with your credit or debit card account after this reversal period, including issues relating to card fees or charges, we encourage you to contact your card issuing bank.
We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused customers.
The statement came after Coinbase and Visa traded blows yesterday over who was to blame. Initially, Coinbase vice president Dan Romero told Fortune that it wasn’t due to any action by Coinbase, its payment processor, or the card issuers.
However Visa shot back, claiming it had not seen the issue with any other merchant and had not made any changes to its systems that would have duplicated transactions. Visa also suggested Worldpay was the only party that could have created transactions.
Customers Not Satisfied With Excuses
The companies met on Friday to get to the bottom of the issue — which apparently produced the statement above. Customers, unfortunately, cared less about who cause the problem and vented on social media about their frustration that it happened at all.
Coinbase is a regular target for user complaints over slow customer service responses. The company has also been under extreme pressure due to millions of new account signups, blame over bitcoin transaction fees, and KYC-AML compliance due to its higher-than-usual instances of fraudulent behavior compared to traditional services like PayPal.
Coinbase appears to have “won” this round, at least in the technical sense. However it could risk causing further bad blood between the cryptocurrency and “legacy” finance industries — the latter of which is still necessary to keep the former functioning in the real world.
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