Posted in: Budgets and spending, cash flow, Data centers, Disaster recovery, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views
Not being able to take your customers’ money is a bad, bad feeling. So it’s no wonder the folks at PayPal were so sorry recently when their system crashed — twice.
The service, which accounts for more than a third of parent company eBay’s revenues, went offline twice on Friday after hardware failures knocked out access to the service for its 87 million active accounts.
This meant that businesses and merchants using the service to accept customer or client payments weren’t getting paid in the 190 markets where it shuffles two dozen currencies between merchants and the folks who buy their wares. Bummer.
Of course, PayPal also suffered from the two extended glitches. It makes its money accepting payment (for free to the buyer) and charging the seller a percentage for the pass-through.
In essence, they make money by moving it from one person to another. When they didn’t do that for several hours Friday, that cash flow stopped. Again, bummer.
Scott Guilfoyle, PayPal’s CTO, apologized profusely via a company blog (the new and very marketing-communications approved method for companies that mess up to try and make up with the public).
“Nothing is more important than our relationship with our customers,” Guilfoyle writes, “and the trust you have in PayPal. We are investigating ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
You can bet on that.
What’s tough to fathom is that Guilfoyle’s explanation for the back-to-back, extended outages is this: “We were not able to switch over to our back up systems as quickly as planned.”
This is a company that exists only to provide a technology-based product to its customers. The fact that its technology failed so spectacularly and often can only mean that the company’s taken its eye off core capabilities, and that’s a bad sign for the bottom line at any business.
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