PayPal experienced at least two down times before and during Cyber Monday.
A heatmap on downdetector.com indicates that most of the problem areas were around New York in the U.S. and several spots in Europe. The problems persisted for two hours on Sunday and about an hour on Monday.
Though not a universal worldwide failure, the outages should certainly be of concern to small businesses that rely heavily upon online payments, particularly through PayPal, for their business.
Small businesses and large retailers alike count on revenues during the Monday after Thanksgiving as shoppers take to the Web in a frenzy.
But that shopping can’t occur without a reliable way of making online payments. While many of those shoppers surely use credit cards for their purchases, peer to peer payments on sites like PayPal have become an increasingly important way of accepting payents. This is especially true for small businesses that aren’t always set up to easily take credit card payments any other way.
So imagine the difficulties if shoppers get online ready to make their purposes only to be unable to access the online payment portal.
There are only a couple of times a year that merchants can count on doing brisk business and those are Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving has been hyped as Black Friday, which is inching incrementally, back onto Thanksgiving itself.
A special Small Business Saturday has also been established specifically to encourage spending at small businesses — often local and brick and mortar — the following day. And to join in this celebration of commerce, online businesses have declared the Monday after Thanksgiving to be “Cyber Monday”.
Over the years, Cyber Monday has grown and become competitive with shopping days dedicated to the brick and mortar businesses. PayPal has been a large part of this growth, making shopping online an easy and safe way to pay. It even inputs your address during the payment process.
However, the increase in online shopping has not come without a price. The sudden increase in traffic led to difficulties in the check out process, some having difficulty logging on to Paypal and others with finishing the transactions.
In a comment to ecommerce.com, a spokesman from PayPal said, “Earlier today, PayPal experienced a brief, intermittent interruption in our service. We have resolved the issue and customers can pay with PayPal on Cyber Monday.”
Target also had difficulties Cyber Monday with some customers briefly having difficulty accessing the retailers website, the New York Times reports. Groupon, Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret also experienced similar outages, the paper reports.
Of course, needless to say, with the exception of Groupon, these other outages did not have much impact on the small business community.
PayPal mobile photo via Shutterstock