Payments processors Worldpay and Visa said Friday they are reversing duplicate transactions that recently caused unauthorized withdrawals for some users of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
The two payments processors said in a joint statement published Friday evening New York time on Coinbase’s Medium blog:
“Worldpay and Coinbase have been working with Visa and Visa issuing banks to ensure that duplicate transactions have been reversed and appropriate credits have been posted to cardholder accounts. This issue was not caused by Coinbase.”
After duplicating charges and draining users’ accounts, Visa has accepted responsibility for the gross error — after initially claiming Coinbase was to blame.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 17, 2018
Coinbase users have been experiencing severe problems over the course last week. Numerous users reported erroneous duplicate charges on their credit and debit cards, effectively draining users’ bank accounts and leaving many individuals in potentially dangerous situations.
After initially confirming the reports, Coinbase passed the blame for the situation on to Visa, stating the “erroneous credit and debit charges are the result of Visa reversing and recharging transactions. This was not done by Coinbase.” Many customers, however, were not convinced.
A spokesperson for Visa initially told the Financial Times that Coinbase was actually at fault, stating that the financial institution:
“has not made any systems changes that would result in the duplicate transactions cardholders are reporting […] we are also not aware of any other merchants who are experiencing this issue”
Yesterday, in a surprise move, Visa accepted responsibility for the erroneous mistake. In a joint statement from Visa and Worldpay published on Coinbase’s official blog, the companies explain:
“Over the last two days, some customers who used a credit or debit card at Coinbase may have seen duplicate transactions posted to their cardholder accounts. This issue was not caused by Coinbase. Worldpay and Coinbase have been working with Visa and Visa issuing banks to ensure that the duplicate transactions have been reversed and appropriate credits have been posted to cardholder accounts.”
The joint statement continues:
“All reversal transactions have now been issued, and should appear on customers’ credit card and debit card accounts within the next few days. We believe the majority of these reversals have already posted to accounts. If you continue to have problems with your credit or debit card account after this reversal period, including issues relating to card fees or charges, we encourage you to contact your card issuing bank. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused customers.”
Visa’s and Worldpay’s joint statement is surprising many, as neither company exactly has a history of duplicating purchases and draining customers’ bank accounts on such a large scale. There is a some suspicion amongst crypto commentators that Coinbase, one of the most popular gateways to the crypto ownership, should be the first ever case of such large scale errors.
Rather bizarrely the WSJ has seen fit to blame Bitcoin for the problem.