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, 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.
Several messages left througout the day with managers at the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd. went unreturned. One call did go through to the managing director's assistant, who said everyone was at lunch and to call back, and provided a stateside number for ePassporte. Later calls all went to voicemail.
Check back with AVN for more updates as this story unfolds.