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PayPal facing sanction for illegal credit sign-ups

Published:Friday | May 22, 2015 | 5:00 AM

United States' federal regulators are proposing that PayPal Inc pay US$25 million to resolve allegations that it illegally signed up customers for its online credit product, used misleading advertising and mishandled billing disputes.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Tuesday its proposed consent order against the digital payments processor. If the order is approved by a federal judge in Maryland, PayPal would refund US$15 million to customers and pay a US$10-million fine.

PayPal, based in San Jose, California, is a division of eBay Inc. The two companies plan to separate.

The CFPB said that PayPal signed up customers without their permission for the online credit product, formerly known as Bill Me Later and now called PayPal Credit. PayPal also failed to post payments properly and lost payment cheques, the agency said.

"PayPal Credit takes consumer protection very seriously," PayPal spokeswoman Amanda Christine Miller said in a statement. "We continually improve our products and enhance our communications to ensure a superior customer experience. Our focus is on ease of use, clarity and providing high-quality products that are useful to consumers and are in compliance with applicable laws."

- AP