By November 1, 2011

PayPal and eBay Security Card Problem

Well, he jinxed me — one of my readers wrote about his problem with the PayPal and eBay security card I’ve run without issue for a year and a half.

I checked my card to see if the battery still worked in mid-October of this year. Everything was fine and dandy. Then I tried to use my card on October 23rd and I noticed something was wrong with the display. The last digit was barely legible, and it seemed that something had damaged the LCD screen. I ordered a replacement from PayPal on October 24th and received a replacement on the 28th. Not bad turnaround time.


This is my old card. The battery is still going strong, but you can see that the display is borked. It could display 2 and 9, so if I needed to log into PayPal or eBay I would just keep hitting the “Press” button to generate a new number. I was able to log in within four tries every time.

The new card is identical to the old one, except for the display. I don’t know if this will make a difference from a durability perspective, but the display is definitely easier to read. The old version had a darker background with lighter numbers. The new version has darker numbers on a light background.


Now that I have a new card, I’m interested to see if the battery life will be as good as my old one. I had hypothesized that my reader got a bum unit, but maybe there are other design changes besides the display. It seems like the “Press” button is harder to, well, press. If anything, this might help prevent accidental activation, but who knows.

PayPal’s customer support was very responsive. I received an email confirming my order with a note stating my old card would remain active in case I could still use it. This was a nice touch, and in my case very helpful. I ordered a few things via PayPal and eBay during this time frame, and also had to log in to check my balance and change some settings.

Overall, I’m happy with the longevity of my first card and with PayPal’s response time. I wish that other sites offered two-factor authentication, and that there was one unified device to manage it. In the meantime, here’s to another eighteen months! 😀

Posted in: review, technology

Comments are closed.