Israel Discount Bank says payments app PayBox not affected by startup folding

Israel Discount Bank says payments app PayBox not affected by startup folding

Bank Discount bought use of app in 2014 from startup that is now shutting down; users had trouble accessing app after ‘fake news’ urged withdrawing funds in light of liquidation

Israel Discount Bank's PayBox app (YouTube screenshot)
Israel Discount Bank's PayBox app (YouTube screenshot)

Users of the payments app PayBox operated by Israel Discount Bank Ltd. on Sunday had trouble accessing the app and operating it, because of a temporary overload due to what the lender said was “fake news” that called on users to withdraw outstanding balances from the app.

“Friends, whoever uses PayBox, this is the time to withdraw your balance in the account. The company has announced it is in liquidation,” a widely spread WhatsApp message said.

One user said that when she accessed the app to withdraw money sent to her by others, the app would ask for her security code and when the code was put in, it would ask for the security code again and again.

The problem was caused by the many users who tried to access the app at the same time in reaction to the “fake news,” said Sarit Weiss, a spokeswoman for the bank.

“In the last few hours” users have experienced trouble with the app because of the high number of users trying to access it, Weiss told The Times of Israel. The problem was already easing and the bank believes it will be completely resolved in the next few hours, she said.

The payments app, developed by the startup PayBox Payment Solutions, allows users to transfer money to people and groups via their smartphones. In 2014, Israel Discount Bank bought the rights to operate the app from the startup, which said earlier this month it was going into liquidation, because it had not raised the necessary funds to continue operations.

“We have no connection to the startup,” Weiss said, underlining that the app would continue functioning as usual.

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