System security issues sideline ability of businesses to take UI payments
United Illuminating Co. customers who like to pay their electric bill at one of the company’s authorized payment locations haven’t been able to do so for more than week.
And Michael West, a UI spokesman, said officials at the utility don’t know when the problem will be resolved. The problem involves the sale of Vancouver, Canada-based TIO Networks to online payments giant PayPal in July, West said.
The company UI has been using to oversee the authorized payment locations program, Softgate PayXchange, is a subsidiary of TIO Networks . As part of the acquisition of the third-party provider, a review of Softgate PayXchange’s systems was conducted and resulted in PayPal suspending all pay-in-person locations of UI.
“This suspension of services is a result of PayPal’s discovery of security vulnerabilities on the TIO platform and issues with TIO's data security program that do not adhere to PayPal's information security standards,” a message on Softgate PayXchange’s web site tells authorized payment agents.
“All walk-in locations serviced by TIO Networks, Softgate PayXchange and Global Express are unable to process bill payments and other related services until further notice. Customers of the billers who are impacted should contact their biller directly to explore payment alternatives,” the site says.
West said PayPal has not told officials at UI when the authorized payment locations program will be restored. And he said he has no reason to believe that any personal information of UI customers has been compromised.
“We have other ways to make payment(s), but if an in-person payment is the only kind you are able to make, we will put a 30-day hold on your account that will prevent any thing bad from happening to your credit,” West said. “We are exploring other more permanent options for making these payment going forward.’
He urged UI customers who make in-person payments to avail themselves of other payment options the company offers. Optons include online payments and pay-by-phone. Those who want UI to put a 30-day-hold on their account can call the company at 800-722-5584.