Paypal Access Card Problems: Transaction Declined – Money Taken

By | April 4, 2012

Are you having problems with your Paypal Access MasterCard?

I have started to refer to mine as the “no access” card. Rather often I am getting ‘transaction declined’ notices for no clear reason. Who needs a debit card that is unreliable?

If you have a Paypal Access Mastercard (PrePay Solutions), do PLEASE be aware that it wont always work and you must always have back up funds on you! Never rely on this card for subscriptions to anything, either.

PayPal Access MasterCard

A few days ago, my Paypal Master Card was declined (again) in Morrisons supermarket (which isn’t very cool because it makes you look like a skint member) but this time, they took they money from the Paypal account! It took a call to the dratted pay-per-minute 0845 505 8801 number to get a refund in progress. It seems I was lucky that I didn’t have to fight for it, reading the net it seems that many people out there are having much worse experiences.

Here are some comments from the eBay user forums:

Paypal access card robbed me!
Several payments ‘declined’ recently only for second payment to go through OK – and then find TWO payments have been taken!! Today is last straw – tried to withdraw £200 from cash machine – to be told to ‘contact card provider as we cannot process your request’ and card (but no money) returned – YUP – money gone from paypal – but I dont have the cash!! Tried to phone but they are not there (bank holiday). Where’s my 200 quid? will I ever get it back?


WARNING! Beware if you are using a Paypal access card
There has been an ongoing problem with Paypal access card where payments are being declined at the first payment attempt and then working on the second attempt.

Both payments are then being taken from your paypal account.

Over the last week or so we have had around £100 in duplicate payments taken from our account.

The only way to get it back is to either wait for 10 days until it is clear to them that only one payment is going to be taken, or to ask the payee to email access card support to confirm that they will only be claiming one payment or to scan both the decline slip and the payment receipt and email them to access card support and hope that a supervisor uses some common sense and refunds one of the payment within 24 hours.

The fact that the payments are identical and less than a minute apart should be a big clue for them, but they say that is irrelevant.

I have spoken to two people at CS today and one said that the problem was with the tech team and the next said that it had been sorted, maybe they should try singing from the same hymn sheet for a change.

They also keep trying to blame the payees, but it’s been happening too often at too many different places for that to be the case.

I don’t suppose I should be too surprised really considering that Paypal is owned by eBay


I’ll warn everyone now, I’ve just attempted to make an online payment of £120 and it came up card not authorised but still took the money. Obviously I won’t give it the opportunity to double-charge me, and I won’t be using this card again. Back to withdrawing for me. Sick of it.


I’ve just called access card support about the £120 declined payment only to be told that unless we can get the payee to email them confirming that they will not be taking the payment we will have to wait ten days for a refund and she also said that they haven’t been given a timescale by the tech team as to when it might be resolved.

She did however say she would pass on my comments to her colleagues when I told her that I thought it had been dealt with very badly and that the least they could have done was to email their customers once they knew there was a problem instead of waiting until people called them because duplkicate payments had already happened.

I told her that I thought it was not really on that they were admitting that there was a problem at their end and yet we still had to wait ten days for them to sort it out.

I also politely told them where to shove their card.

Even those of you who haven’t so far had a problem beware, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you too, they have yet again confirmed to me on the phone that it is still a problem.


Clearly then, this is not an isolated incident. I have had quite a few ‘declined transactions’ but this is the first time they have taken the money. For the last three months of 2011 the card simply didnt work at all – anywhere. I had given up using it until I tried it on the off chance in January and it was working again.

When I called the ‘customer service’ today to get my money back that was taken as a result of the Morrisons ‘declined’ transaction, the woman told me it was an isolated incident (which I was kinda hoping she would). 😉

I then pointed out to her that I had done some Googling, and not only was this not an isolated incident, but it was a known technical problem with the Paypal Master Card (PrePay Solutions) system. She then admitted that um….. “some” people were experiencing this problem because the transaction simply times out before it is completed. Depending what stage it is at when it times out depends if money is taken from your account. Money that is stolen from you in this way should go back into your account in about ten days normally.

That’s all very jolly, but by running the risk of a transaction declining and immediately having it swiped from my Paypal account for ten days, I am simply lending Paypal money. I think Paypal have enough money already in frozen accounts of helpless users; they don’t need to borrow any of mine!

So, the Paypal Access MasterCard debit card. Jolly useful when it actually works, but cannot be relied upon as it simply isn’t reliable enough. I think I shall refrain from using mine from now on and revert back to transferring the money to the bank instead.

What are your experiences with the Paypal MasterCard? Tell us using the comment box below.

21 thoughts on “Paypal Access Card Problems: Transaction Declined – Money Taken

  1. davey lake

    I’ve had my card for nearly a year now and it’s been working fine that is until last week,i have now had 3 transactions declined and the money still taken, one of them was in a supermarket and i did not have any other form of payment so i had to try again and on the 2nd go it went through, what’s going on?

  2. ellen

    have had this a year – NIGHTMARE. started at Christmas with the first transaction declined and second going though but being charged twice (my emails pop up on phone so i can see I have been charged) Have to ring up and claim money back – if under £100 will automatically go back after 10 days but if more you have to call. sometimes am ringing them 3 or 4 times a day and am asking for compensation for the cost of calling for my money back for a technical error they have been working on fixing since December! Anyway it has got worse – 3 transactions were declined today (thank god I had cash) the first I was charged for, the second and third I wasn’t but the customer service person said – it was a timing issue – because I had tried to pay again too quickly it was declined – have no confidence in this card anymore and am complaining to the Ombudsman. one weekend due to their botched transactions they had £800 of mine! If you have one of these – carry cash and get used to embarrassment at the till – i have gone past that now and warn them it will probably decline first time!

  3. Editor Post author

    If you have one of these – carry cash and get used to embarrassment at the till – i have gone past that now and warn them it will probably decline first time!

    That’s just what I do with mine now too! 😉

  4. Editor Post author

    Tried mine again today after three weeks – yup, still not going through with Parcel2go online.

    I reckon I will try again in a week or two and then cut it up and forget it.

  5. Tom

    Absolutely fed up with Paypal Access. I have made 3 purchases with it over the last 3 days. Each one was marked ‘declined’ (in spite of there being money in the account), so I paid using another card, only to find my Paypal account had been debited. Had to make expensive 0845 calls to get each matter sorted out, and the person on the help-desk (when I finally got through) could give me no undertaking that either the problem was being fixed or that it would not happen again. So, now I shall have to revert to paying my Paypal earnings through my bank, and having to wait 3-4 days before I can spend money that is mine. Nice one, Paypal Access, can I have my phone charges back?!

  6. Carrol

    Ok had paypal declined twice at atms in last 24hours but both declined transactions are showing as ‘pending’ in the account to be withdrawn and i havent had a penny AND been charged £2 per transaction!!
    – and i have a good healthy balance in that account
    do i need to get my money out

  7. rob

    Same issue i have funds on my paypal but for the last 2 days if i try to withdraw cash it is refused on top of that today it was refused again but this time paypal says the money has been withdrawn.
    looks like i all i can do is wait for them to have the call center open

  8. Jamie Burns

    Hi All.


    Went to use my paypal access master card at tesco’s on 3/6/2012. The payment was declined. The message on the screen said ‘Please use alternative tender’. ALTHOUGH there was plenty of money in my paypal account. With a big queue behind me; it was very embarrassing as I only had the paypal credit card with me. I went home and immediately phoned paypal who told me that the Paypal access cards were not working that day with a who cares attitude! They could not tell me when they will be working and told me to phone the number on the card for card services.

    10 minute later I got 2 emails from paypal. One, a receipt for my payment and the other telling me that my payment had been refunded. (WHAT IS GOING ON)

    I phoned the number on the card and got three options.

    1. Lost and stolen dept will answer the phone but will not help.
    2. Card services, has a message saying they are closed. THREE DAYS LATER I STILL GET THE SAME CLOSED MESSAGE
    3. Puts you through to Paypal who then tell you to ring again and choose option 2……….


    I have spoken to and registered a complaint with the financial ombudsman service and the banking ombudsman scheme.


  9. rob

    Just to update i phoned paypal today and they refunded my money with no issues so i am very happy 🙂

  10. Paul

    This has been happening with my card since I have got it, after waiting about 4 months for after my other “yellow” card was stopped.

    It can happen upto 4 times in one day…

    If it does just call cust services on 0845 505 8801, before 5PM they close at 7PM but the guys that do the refunds are only on till 5, if you phone up the money is refunded within 30 minutes, if you just leave it it can take upto 10 days…

  11. Jules

    Glad I checked this up online as about fell over today when my “reliant” PayPal access card suddenly stopped working.
    Declined repeatedly at the supermarket, for me to offer to nip to spend an extra £2 drawing some cash from the ATM, card declined there too, tried 2 more ATM’s, all declaring “we can not complete your transaction”, even drove home to double check the balance online with my shopping waiting for me at the supermarket!
    Plenty of funds, but still embarrassingly and repeatedly declined, had to leave the shopping again and go home!
    Because I am self employed I rely on funds from my business to live on, so up until now my PayPal card has been my main form of payment, saving the wait to transfer it to my bank, and being able to “spend as I earn” effectively.
    Not anymore. Now I’ve seen how widespread this problem is with this card, I won’t be risking the inconvenience and embarrassment, and will be sticking to transferring funds to the bank.
    You know what they say about something that seems too good to be true!

  12. Tim

    ive had a paypal access card about a year now and on several occasions have had my card declined and still been charged! Its a pain to then get it resolved as you end up chasing different companies and doing all the leg work yourself.

    I used to think this was just Blockbuster causing the issue as I havent managed to get one single payment to them. 3 have declined and still charged me so I avoid using them now. However recently its happened in a number of shops and stores.

    Ive also had the annoying scenario of the entire system being down so you cant use your card for an entire day, usually finding this out whist processing business transactions and leaving myself look like an absolute mug at the time.

    Today my experience with Paypal access card just got even better!
    My previous record for being out of pocket caused by Paypal Access card was £295 which took me 5 days to get back (not as if anyone needs nearly £300 is it!!!). Today I withdrew money from my account using an ATM for £100 (+ the £2 fee they charge me). After which I tried to purhcase business supplies using the card to be declined. Their phone lines were on a permanent queue for half an hour. I got home to find they had removed the £102 from my account 8 times!!!!! £816 all gone!!! Their response……. it will take up to 10 days to come back.

    Seriously doubt I will ever use the card again. Do they genuinely believe people have that kind of money they can miss and wait 10 days to get it back. Im on holiday in 3 weeks and if it would have happened any later I wouldnt have been going. To them thats not serious, to me it completely changes how I view and use a company!

  13. Karl

    We received our paypal card on Friday, activated it online, got the pin, looked forward to using it as an alternative. Tried to change the pin, cash machine said ‘no’. My wife tried to use it in Sainsbury’s, it was embarrassingly declined, so I had to come in and use my debit card, with a queue of customers looking at us like we’re card fraudsters or something. Tried calling paypal, they said ‘nothing to do with us, call the number on the back of the card’, called the number on the back, constantly engaged. Now I’ve read these posts and it’s filled me with dread, I really can’t go through the head-ache of trying to battle with paypal to get money back.

  14. Karl

    OK, finally got through to them, I THINK the problem is now solved, will have to try the card later. The telephone assistant took me through the steps (if I can remember them); I logged into paypal, where it says ‘account type’ (top left), I was told to click on ‘upgrade’, then select ‘premier account’, confirm, then the assistant said he could now see my balance and I’d be able to use it. Lets see what happens!!

  15. Editor Post author

    I had a Premier Account already when all this happened with me. I don’t see what difference that makes, but I guess we’ll find out.

    I don’t actually use mine any more. It just stopped working altogether.

  16. MSWinner

    Several users, including me, have had a bout of declined transactions at Tescos, Post Office, the Co-Op etc since 1st September 2014.

    Apparently it’s their issue and they’re ‘looking into it’. Let’s hope they look into their terrible customer service at the same time!

    I suggest making a formal complaint to the card issuer, as I’ve just done: PrePay Technologies Ltd (PayPal Access card), PO Box 3371, Swindon, SN5 7WJ.

    Good luck

  17. Pauline

    I’ve probably had my car around a year now.

    The first time my card was declined was at a local Tesco Express. The girl hinted that the problem was their machines and she’d been on at her manager to fix the problem. I had to go out to the ATM – at a charge of £2 – and pay in cash. Assuming it was Tesco’s fault after what the cashier said, I emailed Tesco to complain and I was sent a £2 gift card to cover the £2 charge for withdrawing money.

    The next time it happened was in Asda. They claimed the payment hadn’t gone through, and after several attempts still no joy. However, on checking at the ATM I discover that in fact the payment had gone through. Long story short, Asda took my details and I didn’t hear from them again. Well, I wouldn’t, they’d been paid and didn’t care.

    Last three or four times it’s happened to me only at Morrisons supermarket. The last time tonight, in fact. Very stressful, very embarrassing, knowing that you’ve just checked your balance before you left home, standing at the checkout ready to pay ten minutes before closing time and the card is declined. After the staff trying several times, I go to the ATM and they won’t allow me to access my account. I get back in the store, use my mobile to access the PayPal app to at least prove to the cashier “Yes, I have the money in my account!” only to be locked out of my account online too!

    I eventually return to the ATM to withdraw funds from my bank card to pay for my shopping. Feeling completely harassed by this time. My account was clearly locked for security reasons, I get that. But come on, the money was in my account, it still is, and yet there I was stood there feeling frustrated and mortified.

    I thought getting this card was great. But, if it’s not reliable all the time, it’s of no use to me. I was going to call PayPal but having read some of the comments here I think that would be a waste of time. I wouldn’t even mind so much if, after the card was declined, I could go at least get MY money from the ATM as a last resort. To not be able to do that is completely unacceptable.

    I will, however, make a formal complaint to the card issuer as suggested.

  18. Pauline

    My “car” should have been, of course, my “card”.

  19. Chris

    Back in September I tried to buy some Winter Tyres for my car, a purchase of £245, however I wasn’t aware that the Vendor would not allow prepayment cards (which is what the Paypal access card is) so the three attempts to pay were immediately declined at checkout. However that didn’t stop all three attempted transactions from being successfully deducted from my paypal account and appearing in a pending status on my Access card online statement.

    All attempts to reason with Paypal / Prepay Technologies (The card issuer) have failed, and a recorded delivery letter to their (Card Issuers) head office was flatly rejected when the Post Office tried to deliver, so i’ve written to the FSO for help and also included the refused delivery slip from the Post Office.

    At the moment i’m over £700 out of pocket, and almost two months on, there is still no sign of it being returned.

  20. Roy

    It’s still happening then!
    I’ve read about the problems with the Paypal Mastercard payments being taken yet the transaction being declined but it had never happened to me, until now.
    On-line Argos purchase didn’t go through according to Argos website. I have to agree as it stated ‘Unfortunately your card payment wasn’t successful’. Problem being that Argos have no record of a sale to me yet the money was taken from my PayPal account.
    That’ll be me on the phone to paypal first thing trying to chase the return of £325!!!
    How is this still allowed to go on!?

  21. Sandra

    Oh, it’s still happening. The first time recently I used my card for an online transaction and I won’t do it again. Like above, it said the transaction was declined, so re-did it and it went through. Now, two payments have been debited from my account. Apparently one is still pending but the merchant doesn’t have knowledge of it. I have called both Paypal or Paypal Access and they don’t care and made me feel like I was the only one this has happened to . They also insinuated that it was the merchant’s fault not the card. When challenged, they basically shut down and refused to talk to me. I then searched the internet to find if it had happened to others and found this forum. Is there anyone we can complain to that will take it seriously?
    I will scrutinise my transactions a lot more closely in future – quite often they are declined at til checkout for no apparent reason.

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