December 17, 2013

Paypal in your pocket

Long time ago I saw a movie on TV called Harry in your pocket which was about a group of pick-pockets. It wasn't bad; it starred James Coburn, for one thing.

I was reminded of that the last few days. Paypal had my credit card info, I think because I used it years ago to buy a $5 membership on Metafilter. That credit card got cancelled a couple of years ago, but of course they didn't know it. Anyway, it's now past the normal expiration date for it, and three times in the last few days Paypal had helpfully send me email informing me of it and urging me to get onto their web site to give them my new credit card.

Which, of course, I'm ignoring. I don't want them to have my credit card info; I've always felt really hinky about them having it, and that's why I didn't update when my new credit card was issued to me two years ago.

It's actually a bit scary how many companies out there have retained my card info: Safeway (which I use about weekly), NewEgg, RACS, DLSite... if any of them ever has a database breach (which has been known to occur) it would be a problem. I certainly don't need to make it worse by giving my card info to people who don't need it. I never use Paypal these days and I never will again.

I wonder how many more times they'll nag me.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 09:26 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 251 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I think Robert claims that RACS doesn't store that info (which is why you have to enter it every time, rather than having "an account" there.)  

But yes, it's ridiculous how many sites do keep a database of that sort of thing.

And PayPal wanting a bank account (actual money, rather than credit) for "verification" is the worst one.  So I gave them a savings account that contains the minimum deposit ($5, in my case) to keep it open.  I guess it's probably closing in on $6 after all these years of interest, but still not a great loss if they steal it all.

Posted by: Mikeski at December 17, 2013 09:52 AM (Zlc1W)


You haven't been earning any interest. I have a bank account with about $80K in it, and it earns less than $2 per month. The Fed has been holding interest rates at zero ever since the beginning of the Great Recession, in hopes of stimulating growth and avoiding deflation.

I think you're right about RACS; I remembered wrong.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 17, 2013 11:00 AM (+rSRq)

3 I was getting non-existent interest from Wells Fargo, and then they proposed a per-transaction fee on their debit card, so I promptly switched to BECU (Not a suggestion since you're ineligible, not being in Washington) and their terms on everything were much better.  Interest in Savings and Checking, and low interest on the credit card (Which I keep paid off all the time anyway.)

It WAS a chore switching over all the places that had access to my accounts.  I try harder to keep tabs on them all now.

Posted by: Mauser at December 18, 2013 03:08 AM (TJ7ih)

4 IIRC, the bank account link was just an optional way of paying. The money has to come from somewhere, and Paypal was conceived as a way to transfer money across national boundaries.

Posted by: muon at December 18, 2013 03:54 AM (jFJid)

5 <blockquote>IIRC, the bank account link was just an optional way of paying.</blockquote>

It's required now to create a new account.

Posted by: Mark A. Flacy at December 18, 2013 06:10 PM (OULDq)

6 I hate PayPal, and it keep us off E-Bay. We definitely do not retain payment info electronically beyond the time it takes for us to process your order (only a few days at most), which is why we require you to enter it every time. I have no interest in maintaining security over tens of thousands of electronic user accounts with payment info as I do not want anyone to store mine either. It's probably the thing the younglings bitch about the most when using our site. We are required by Visa/MC to maintain customer and payment info for each order for 3 years. What we do is archive that info by scanning a hard copy of every order once it's processed with an OCR scanner and storing it on a set of encrypted drives that are not physically connected to our network (after which the original is destroyed in a cross cut shredder). That system replaced a couple of big HON secure filing cabinets when we moved to our current location in 2006. We store all of our other company records the same way.

Posted by: Bob (aka Robert) at December 20, 2013 12:12 AM (WVxh1)

7 Unfortunately even that isn't foolproof as seen by the theft of credit card numbers at Target's checkout. Google and Paypal's electronic wallet is starting to look good.

Posted by: muon at December 22, 2013 11:13 PM (jFJid)

8 Certainly nothing is foolproof. The Target hack involved strip scans at the point of sale. POS is the only time all the information on your card is read and transmitted all at once, and they only type of transaction that provides enough information to make a duplicate of a card. This is a big reason I do not own a debit card. That it took Target almost three weeks to pick it up shows the level of trouble the hackers went to along with their knowledge of the system they were hacking. I bet it was an inside job.I can't understand why anyone would want to use a Google or PayPal wallet on their mobile at POS when they could just use cash or write a check. One day PayPal will get hacked and hundreds of millions of CC and checking accounts will get compromised - you gotta know there are people out there that must be working on it day and night.

Posted by: Bob (aka Robert) at December 23, 2013 01:12 AM (GxqhX)

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