Just noticed this on my latest Halifax Clarity statement and thought I would share in case others not aware:
Changes to Cash transaction types
From 15th October 2021, certain cash-like transactions will be treated as Cash transactions instead of Card purchases:
Sending money orders or wire transfers (other than balance transfers or money transfers).
Buying coins, bank notes or digital currency.
Paying government or court fines, enforcement penalties, fees or costs.
Online trading such as share dealing or investments.
Purchasing or topping up electronic money, payment cards, mobile wallets or account dashboard services.
Things to be aware of:
These will be charged interest at the cash rate which is worked out daily.
We may charge you a cash fee for making them.
You’ll no longer earn cashback on these if you do now.
See your statement Summary Box for fees and charges applicable to your account.
Now, the one among that list that concerns me is mobile wallets.
Others may be, as expected tbf.
Does PayPal count as a mobile wallet or a payment service provider, as sometimes I use PayPal when I don’t want to provide a supplier with my credit card details.
Curve is also similar to PayPal, as technically you top-up Curve by buying e-money funded by the transaction on the underlying card.
Therefore, these terms could technically apply to Curve purchases which would be annoying and quite unusual. As far as I know, only Tesco Bank have previously tried to blanket-ban Curve in this way (and that quickly backfired a few years ago).
That’s the trouble - with a service that could be either/or, how do you as a customer have any clarity (pun intended) on what you are going to be charged?
Especially if the bank turns out to take a less than generous interpretation of their terms, you may be in for a shock if you thought you were using your card legitimately. The technicalities of Curve and PayPal, for example, may be understood by people like us with an interest in the industry but it would be tough (and unrealistic, really) for most customers to fully understand these things.
If everyone takes a tougher approach to quasi-cash, Curve et al are going to find their standard excuse - “it’s up to your card processor” - won’t cut it any more. They’d be wise to get ahead of this and provide clear messaging or even card controls to avoid fees like these
If you use Paypal as a payment gateway i.e. just to make payments directly to 3rd parties from your credit card via Paypal, it shouldn’t be a problem. In this sort of scenario, Paypal is acting like GoCardless and Worldpay systems.
If you top up your Paypal account to make payments to 3rd parties then Paypal is acting as a mobile wallet. In this case, the credit card provider will treat the transaction as cash.
Paypal can be used as a money transfer service. I think that’s why they are mentioning it but that’s just one of the several payment services they offer.
The only way I can see a card issue will know the difference is referring to the MCC code, and that’ll need the cooperation of the merchant. So does PayPal process transactions under different MCC codes according to what the customer is doing?