According to PayPal, problem began around 1330 EDT, and affected all PayPal customers for about an hour. By 1830, service was restored to all customers, PayPal said.
It went on to say,
"We’re now working to fully understand how we can prevent such a service interruption from ever happening again. We’re also reaching out to merchants to discuss the impact this interruption had on their businesses."
News reports say that PayPal transacts about $2,000 in commerce per second, so an hour outage is not inexpensive.
In 2004, PayPal had a five day outage due to a software update that misfired.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.