Paypal eCheck Clearing

When you make a Paypal payment using eCheck your payment does not clear straight away and therefore there will probably be a delay in the product that you have requested being shipped to you. The only time that this doesn't apply is where you are purchasing a product that can be downloaded from online and the seller has incorrectly set up their sales process so that it allows access to the download page even though the processing of your payment is incomplete.

My Paypal IPN script emails the purchased script only after the payment processing is complete and so does not send the email with the purchase attached for eCheck payments until several days later when the payment actually clears. The only way that online sellers offering the purchase via a download page can avoid providing purchasers using eCheck with immediate access to the download that they haven't actually paid for yet is to either provide the link to the download page in an email or by not automating the download access at all for these purchasers and handling those ones manually.

One query that I usually receive from most people who have made an eCheck purchase from my site is to ask why they haven't yet received their purchase. The answer of course is that their payment has not yet been cleared by Paypal and so I haven't actually received their money yet. I guess they are used to other sellers giving them their product straight away due to those other sellers not properly handling eCheck payments.

Actually it is quite easy for anyone making an eCheck purchase to see for themselves the status of their purchase and when they can expect to receive what they have bought. All that they need to do is to login to their own Paypal account and look at the recent activity. They should see an entry there for that purchase. If you look at the information for the purchase you will see a column with a heading of Status which will show Uncleared while the payment is still awaiting clearance and Completed once the payment has actually cleared. Payment types other than eCheck should show Completed straight away.

The next column to the right is Details and there will be a link there that you can select to bring up all of the actual details of the transaction. Scroll down this page until you can again see the Status field. To the right of the Uncleared entry you will see information telling you when Paypal expect the payment to be cleared (eg. "(Expected Clearing Date: 4 Jan. 2006)"). This is Paypal's estimate of how long your bank will take to send them the funds and so the exact date of clearing may be a day or two different from what the page says but it will normally be fairly close.

If you don't like the idea of having to wait for your eCheck payment to clear (and remember that the delay is only while Paypal is waiting for your bank to send them the money) then you should set up your Paypal account to use a different payment method.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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