The transaction started much like any other. He wanted to hire me and agreed to pay a 50% deposit through Paypal. Like I’ve done countless times before, I sent him an invoice.
For three days my client tried and tried and tried to make payment. And for three days he was told “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.” He finally emailed me. Why was I insisting he use an eCheck to pay the invoice? If I won’t let him pay with a credit card, we had a big problem.
After some back and forth and much frustration on both of our parts, I called PayPal. I told the first rep what had happened and that oh by the way, I also could not cancel or otherwise edit the invoice. She said I would need to speak with someone else and I was put on hold.
Rather than using music, Paypal has a series of informative messages for their folks on hold. I did learn that when PayPal emails customers they always will use your name in the salutation. Good to know, but after hearing it for the 4th or 5th time, I was longing for some muzak.
The $3,000 Limit
When the next rep came on the line, she listened to my tale of woe and then said that it was a problem with my client’s email and asked if I had a second e-mail for him. To make a very frustrating phone conversation short, it turned out that “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.” should read something like “This email address has exhausted the limit of payments without registering for a Paypal account. Please register for a PayPal account to proceed with payment.”
Ah yes, somewhere in all that fine print is a statement about a limitation of payments without having a PayPal account. I now know that limit is $3,000. The rep and my customer did some magic where the invoice was changed to another email address and he was able to make payment.
I was told that the $3,000 limit was instituted to help prevent fraud. If you send a non-PayPal account holder an invoice for $3,000.01 they will be told that they can not make the PayPal payment with their credit card. If a non-PayPal account holder has made payments of $2,800 and you invoice them for $210, they will see the message “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.”
This got tricky for my client and I. Payment of my invoice would put him over the $3,000 limit but in the meantime, he paid other, smaller invoices that did not put him over the limit. That just confirmed in his mind this was a problem at my end. I had visions of this great new client telling me to get lost because payment was simply too much of a hassle.
I’m not complaining about PayPal support. I called for assistance and did receive it. I did receive my deposit and my client, at least so far, seems happy with my work.
No Indexed Payment Information
I looked all over the web for answers as to why my invoice was flagged, “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.” The closest thing I could come up with was a conversation about some companies and individuals putting blocks on their credit cards preventing payments to PayPal.
Easy Fix, Overlooked
As long as there have been computers, there have been vague and confusing error messages. But, “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.” implies the seller is refusing to take payment by credit card. I urged the customer service rep to request the error message be changed to something more appropriate. After all, if the intention is to get people who have sent over $3,000 via PayPal to sign up for an account, why in the world didn’t they just say so in the first place?
Just to mention it one last time so anyone dealing with a similar problem can find my post, when PayPal says “This payment can not be funded with a credit card.” it probably means the buyer has reached the $3,000 limit and they will have to sign up for a PayPal account of provide another way to arrange payment.
Canceling a PayPal Invoice
Oh yes, one last lesson learned. Apparently the seller can not cancel an invoice; only the buyer can. I was told that this is something of a bug and is being worked on. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, PayPal will have that fixed.