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Who am I paying?

I received a text alert about a possible fraud last night.

The alert asked me to ring my credit card provider ASAP to verify the payment, so I did.

“Hello”, I said after entering my name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name and inside leg measurement, “you alerted me to a possible fraud”.

“Yes we did”, said the helpful person on the other end of the phone.  “Is it?”

“Is it what?” I say.

“Is it fraudulent”, they say.

“I don’t know”, I say. “Who is the payment being made to?”

“Braintree”, they say.

“Braintree?” I say.

“Yes, Braintree”, they say.

“Well that’s no help”, I say.  “Braintree is PayPal?”

“What?” the CSR (Customer Services Representative) says.

“Braintree is PayPal”, I say.

“I have a telephone number if you want to speak to them”, says the CSR.

“That’s no use”, I’m getting frustrated, “as I am calling you”.

“No problem sir”, pleads the CSR, “I’ll put you through”.

And with that, they transfer me to the telephone number for Braintree.

“Hello Braintree, how can I help?” says the new CSR.

“Urmmm, I’m not sure.  I have a payment on the system.”

“Ah yes sir, what for?” asks the CSR.

“Well, I don’t know.  That’s why I’m calling you”, I ask.

“So what is this payment?” they reply.

“It’s for $900 on my credit card”, I reply.

“And who is this payment being made to?” they ask.

“I have no idea.”

“You have no idea?”

“No, please tell me who I’m paying $900 to on my credit card via Braintree”, I plead.

“Urmmm, we don’t know that information sir”, they tell me.

“Well if you don’t know that information and my credit card provider doesn’t, how am I supposed to tell you if it’s fraudulent or not”, I prod.

“I don’t know sir”, they reply.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

The call went on like this for another ten minutes between my credit card provider and Braintree and, purely because I’m a payments guy, I could at least state that it might be a PayPal payment, as Braintree is owned by PayPal.

However, neither my credit card provider nor Braintree could tell me who the payment was being made to.

As a result, I have no idea whether it should be authorised or not.

Something is remiss here, but neither Braintree nor my credit card provider could tell me anything about this payment.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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