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Tech Industry's online payment system suffers outages

The company's free email-payment system, PayPal, is hit by a series of outages following attempts to upgrade its computers.

PayPal, a free email-payment system offered by, has suffered a series of sporadic outages since yesterday morning, and company representatives said they are unsure when the site will be fully functioning.

PayPal, which allows users to send money via email, was upgrading its computer systems when it "experienced configuration problems," said a PayPal spokesperson.

PayPal is growing by 12,000 customers a day and has more than quadrupled in size over the first three months of the year, the company said. It suffered a series of brief site outages three weeks ago.

According to Web measurement firm PC Data, PayPal was among the most trafficked financial sites during the month of April. As person-to-person payment firms catch on with the public, especially auctioneers, the growing number of firms entering the market will be under increased pressure to perform better than the competition. Analysts have said that providing a safe, secure, well-functioning site is key to building trust with consumers.

PayPal merged with in March shortly after eBay and Wells Fargo announced that they were developing a Web person-to-person payment system called Billpoint. Other companies such as allow consumers and small businesses to send bills to friends and customers through emails and to accept credit cards online.