These are dark days for Greek consumers.
Banks remain closed, cash access is limited, and capital controls are in place. The controls — designed to keep Greek money from leaving Greece — prohibit the use of credit cards to make payments outside the country.
“It’s an unfortunate restriction on the ability of Greek consumers to shop online and outside of Greece,” says Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. “Generally speaking , it takes Greek customers outside of the global commerce world.”
There are reports of blocked iTunes purchases — buying a 99 cent song with a credit card is a foreign transaction — and of cloud storage services being canceled when the credit card on file doesn’t work.
Paypal, the electronic payment service, issued a statement saying, “Due to the recent decisions of the Greek authorities on capital controls, funding of PayPal Wallet from Greek bank accounts, as well as cross-border transactions funded by any cards or bank accounts, are currently not available. Payment attempts may also be declined by the card issuer or banking institution.”
The restrictions are “definitely affecting consumers who are trying to do any sort of cross-board transacting,” says Mary Monahan, an analyst with Javelin Strategy & Research.
And in today’s global economy, that’s a whole lot of people.