PayPal users across the world were unable to access the service for at least an hour yesterday after the online payment service was shut down due to "internal problems".

The problems with the online payment service, which is owned by eBay and has about 75 million active users, started at around 6:30pm and affected the majority of users for around one hour. For some, however, the problems continued until 2:30am.

"I haven't heard the absolute clear definition of what happened from the engineering team yet. I can confirm that it was an internal problem, not an external problem," eBay spokesman Anuj Nayar told Reuters.

eBay also revealed it may reimburse some sellers for loss of sales caused by the outage. However, Kaufman Bros analyst Aaron Kessler said the outage was unlikely to dissuade customers from using the service.

"An occasional server shutdown happens to a lot of companies. Obviously you don't want to have it happen more than a couple of times a year or you do start to have brand or reputation concerns," Kessler said.

"But we've seen issues with Google, Netflix and over the last couple of years, so I don't think an isolated incident is a huge deal for these companies."

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