Coinbase customers bugged by overcharging caper
The customers of San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange Coinbase were overcharged thousands of dollars due to a bug linked to how credit card companies bill for its service.
The problem has now been fixed, but people were charged multiple times for transactions. On its website, Coinbase says purchases that occurred between 22 January 2018 and 11 February 2018 may have been refunded and reprocessed – “resulting in erroneous charges”.
It says it “will ensure that each affected customer will be refunded in full for any erroneous charge”.
On Twitter, Coinbase adds: “We have determined that the erroneous credit and debit charges are the result of Visa reversing and recharging transactions. This was not done by Coinbase. We are working with Visa to ensure all affected customers are reimbursed.
“Over the last few months, large banks and card issuers requested that card networks change the MCC [merchant category code] for purchases of digital currency. Visa changed the MCC for digital currency purchases to a code that allows large banks and card issuers to charge consumers additional fees.
“Coinbase is actively working with major card networks to create a new MCC for digital currency purchases.”
This is all part of a blame game – because Visa has hit back at Coinbase’s words.
In the same statement to various media sources, a Visa spokesperson says it “has not made any systems changes that would result in the duplicate transactions cardholders are reporting”.
Visa adds that it is “also not aware of any other merchants who are experiencing this issue”.
Meanwhile, the comments from users on Coinbase’s Twitter feed were a mixed bag. Some whinged, others praised the firm for its “professionalism”. If you want a taste, they ranged from “You wouldn’t have this problem if you offered XRP” to “Yeah f**k visa!!!!”.
Coinbase is a popular exchange and has around ten million users.
Also reported today (16 February), and on a happier note, it launched Coinbase Commerce.
The new offering aims to enable merchants across the globe to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin payments and deposit the funds directly into their personal wallets. The company says Coinbase Commerce gives merchants full control of their own digital currency, since it is not a hosted service.