IMPORTANT NEWS: ePassporte SHUT DOWN by VISA!

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James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Dear ePassporte Account Holders,


Please be advised that, at 12:00 PM PDT today, September 2, 2010, we were notified that effective immediately, Visa International has suspended our banking partner's (St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank) ePassporte Visa program. The ePassporte e-Wallet program continues to be up and running, except funds cannot be transferred between your Visa Account and your e-Wallet. At this time ePassporte can no longer issue Visa Cards, and the ability for our Account Holders to make point of sale purchases and withdraw funds from ATMs has also been suspended.


At this time we do not know why this drastic action was taken by Visa. To us, it is unconscionable that such action would be taken without the opportunity for ePassporte to fully understand Visa's reasons and to be able to take all steps necessary to keep our program running the way it has so successfully done for over 7 years. But that is what Visa has done.


As soon as we have more information we will be in contact with you.


In the meantime please be assured that your funds are safe.


We are very sorry for the short notice and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The ePassporte team is working diligently to rectify this situation.


We kindly ask you to bear with us while we work through this issue.


Please feel free to contact us via the message center or at our call center, should you have any questions, comments or concerns.


Thank You,


Christopher Mallick


Very bad news in my opinion and we do hope that they figure out what happens and what is required in order to sort things with the bank and Visa.
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
NEWS - Update!


ePassporte: Visa Situation Should be Resolved Next Week


The issue is with Visa and not with its bank, says ePassporte


By Tom Hymes


Sep 3rd, 2010 02:26 PM


SANTA MONICA, Calif.—In response to a call from AVN seeking further clarification on the sudden suspension by Visa of the ability by ePassport’s West Indies-based bank—St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd.—to process Visa transactions, ePassporte’s business account manager called to comment on the situation.


“The problem,” he said, “is not our bank. Our bank is perfectly fine. Everybody’s money is safe. The issue is literally with Visa. Visa functionality is the only thing that’s down, which means eCards and vCards. We are working to resolve the issue and we will have a resolution by next week, but at this point in time we don’t have any more information and we will contact everyone as soon as we do have any update at all.”


When asked about the increasing concern among some ePassporte clients that their money might remain inaccessible for some time to come, leading them to seek alternative means of delivery, he said, “I think the most important thing right now is for people to be patient until we have a solution. I wouldn’t move any [funds] at this point, because by the time you would receive a wire we’ll either have Visa functionality back up or we will have found another solution.


“The problem,” he added, “is that yesterday we were given about an hour’s notice of the situation, so there really wasn’t enough time for us to prepare any sort of documented statements other than the message that came from our CEO and owner, Christopher Mallick.


“There’s nothing to worry about," he stressed. "It’s an issue with Visa, not with our bank. All of our functions outside of Visa are working perfectly. If people’s funds are in their wallets, they can feel free to contact customer service and do a wire disbursement, but if they can wait, that would be my recommendation. I wouldn’t make any hasty decisions. But we’re not going anywhere; there’s nothing wrong with the business. This was an unforeseen issue, and we’re not exactly sure where it came from on Visa’s side.”


Before hanging up, he once again expressed his hope that calm would prevail over the long holiday weekend, after which the company expects that the situation will be quickly resolved.


“There really is nothing to be panicked about,” he said. “We just have to be patient and see what the solution is. All I can say is that if we had been given more notice, we obviously would have been better prepared and would have contacted all of our clients beforehand.”


In the meantime, AVN has learned that several affiliate programs have sent letters to their affiliates notifying them that they are temporarily suspending the use of ePassporte until the Visa issues are resolved, and recommending that people log in to their accounts and change their payment options to either checks or wire transfers.


Check back with AVN for more updates as this story unfolds.
 

fxstarter

Corporate Services
Business Angel
Very bad news! I read that they will solve the problem with Visa soon it was one of such solution we wanted to use for our new biz
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
New update from ePassport, worth reading if you hold an epassport account:

We at ePassporte are as distressed as you, our valued cardholders, over an action that we did not see coming and as of today we still have received no good basis for it.
First, be assured that your funds are fully safe and protected. You are owed that and it will be fulfilled. The funds are secure.


Second, ePassporte is working with the St. Kitts bank to work out how all payments will be made and when. The details are complicated, because there are funds in motion and where and when they settle requires us to all be careful that we fully and properly account for all those funds and their rightful owner. This issue stems from our processing and reporting ability through the Visa system and their processor.


Third, ePassporte's most important asset has always been our account holder's. We are not going to undermine that asset by treating cardholders in any manner other than the best we can.


Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with banks and card associations that simply "cut us off" and did not pay us. Those actions were limited to card acquiring (merchant accounts), not card issuing, which is what we do. We can all take some comfort in the fact that this situation is not anything like the acquiring side of the business.


We all fully understand that communication to our cardholders is critical. However, it does not help any of us if we are constantly updating you on the basis of the calls that take place almost hourly. It seems to us that giving you facts, based on agreements we are working on is the best form of communication. This is what we will be doing. When we know something, that is a fact, we will report it, quickly. Our staff is all working diligently to resolve these issues and the many moving and complicated parts of getting the funds returned. Therefore, please do not mistake our silence as "hiding", "avoiding" or "stringing you along". We too have funds that are stuck in the system, as well as massive costs of operation without any income.


Rest assured that when we know, you will know and you will all be satisfied with the results. Again, your money is safe.


For those of you that have been in the industry for many years, I hope you will recall that I have a very strong track record of fighting for the rights of webmasters, program sponsors, billing companies, merchants and the industry; that dedication continues.


Thanks you for your understanding in this difficult time and for your support over the last 8 years of our operations.


Chris Mallick


For ePassporte
 

clemens

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
here is some very interesting news about the whole ePassport mess - Following the Money, ePassporte Edition — Krebs on Security


epass.png
Interesting that both the bank and ePassport have the same owner.
 

Safa

Corporate Services
I would never have believed that this gonna happen, how comes it? We speak ePassport who's founders are CCBILL right?
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Some update on this issue:


"To All SKNANB Visa Prepaid Cardholders


As previously advised, SKNANB has been working diligently on the necessary efforts to restore prepaid cardholders' ability to access their Visa card funds.


Subject to slight adjustment, it is expected that from Wednesday, October 6th, the overwhelming majority of cardholders will be able to access the funds on their Visa Card using their existing card, without providing SKNANB further information. A small percentage of cardholders will be asked to provide certain confirming information. SKNANB prepaid cardholders can expect further communication from us on October 4th in this regard....."


B. For affiliate program owners who want to find a replacement for ePassporte might want consider these prepaid Mastercard cards :


1. Payoneer (based on US), Payoneer.com


Mostly used by worldwide freelancers, from programmer to translator freelancers!


2. Paxum (based on Canada), Paxum.com


Has Paxum e-Wallet, similar service with ePassporte Wallet.


Fund withdrawal is using prepaid Mastercard (worldwide ATM up to $2,500/day, fee: $2/withdrawal,), check (fee:$5 Personal/$25 Business), and wire ($50 fee).


Loading fund is using check (fee:$5 Personal/$25 Business) and wire ($50 fee).
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING YOUR EPASSPORTE ACCOUNT


Dear ePassporte Account Holders,


It is with great regret we inform you that ePassporte must close its doors due to a lack of revenue and circumstances beyond our control.


Effective immediately, the call center, ePassporte's sales and marketing team and risk management staff will no longer be available. A small group will remain to organize wallet requests and help disburse funds. On the ePassporte website, in the near future, wallet holders will be provided further information on what is needed to obtain your funds. This will mainly be a process to protect wallet holder funds from fraud. We expect this will be a simplified process, and as we receive the necessary information, our small remaining staff will process requests as quickly as they can. Please direct your wallet questions, concerns and requests to [email protected].


For those of you with funds on your Visa Accounts, we are informed that St. Kitts Bank is working on a plan to provide everyone with full access to their funds through their Visa Electron Cards or by bank wire transfers and will inform you accordingly.


We appreciate your support for the ePassporte program over the past 7 years and deeply regret we must close our doors at this difficult time.


Sincerely,


ePassporte.com
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
And here is another update, seems this is turning into a scam of some sort, but let's hope not.

Since this incident, ePassporte account holders have been attempting to withdraw their funds via wire transfers. To this date, ePassporte has yet to process these wire transfers and it is widely feared that account holders' funds, estimated to be in the millions of dollars, have been misappropriated by owner Chris Mallick and little hope remains of recoupment of the funds.
Click this link for more information : -> ePassporte


 
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