Why I don't accept PayPal anymore for payments

Warning: This blogpost has been posted over two years ago. That is a long time in development-world! The story here may not be relevant, complete or secure. Code might not be complete or obsoleted, and even my current vision might have (completely) changed on the subject. So please do read further, but use it with caution.
Posted on 05 Jan 2012
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I think everyone has heard at least 5 five horror-stories when it comes to PayPal. And every time people will be upset, will tweet about it but then go on with their lives. I get it, I do the same thing. But just a few days ago I came acros the gazillionth message about PayPal. Short story: guy sells violin for 2500$, buyer says it’s fake, PayPal orders buyer to destroy the violin in order to get money back. In the end: seller looses violin AND 2500$, without ever being able to defend his claim. As LeoMcGarry could have said: The last straw has just been placed on the camel’s back.. and then PayPal drove over it with a tank..

17-01-2012 Update: and yet another conference bites the dust thanks to PayPal. Thanks for proving my point.

Since I am also in the business of e-commerce, I always have strongly suggest not to accept PayPal as a method for payment. Sure, it WILL lose you some clients, but when (not if, but WHEN), things go wrong between you and PayPal, you would have wished you never have accepted those payments. Most people, especially in the Netherlands, are more accustomed to other ways of payment like iDEAL, which is the most common way of dealing with payments. I can convince most of my clients so I see this as a personal win.

During the last 10 years, I’ve used PayPal, let’s say around 5 times for receiving payments. This is mainly because I would have been dealing with customers/clients that are living inside the United States and Canada. Those countries prefer to write cheques, but unfortunately, cashing cheques is very expensive in the Netherlands. It’s not uncommon to pay up to 40 euro to your bank to cash a cheque that is worth 100 euro’s. On such occasions, I prefer PayPal for automatic bank transfers, since those are still pricy, but less than me cashing cheques.

However, I’ve decided I will never use PayPal again for either paying or accepting payments, both personally and in my company. If somebody wants to pay me through PayPal, I’ll ask them to make a bank-transfer. It’s quite easy, even for Americans to do this as well. All you need to have is the IBAN number, which every bank account automatically has (some countries uses the IBAN numbers as their bank accounts). It’s very safe, doesn’t cost much and is way better than dealing with a man-in-the-middle that let’s face it: behaves even bad on its good days.

I know I’m just one person who refuses PayPal. But we all have to start somewhere and one person is enough to get the ball rolling. I know it’s easy to pay things by a simple click here and there, and even if you are not willing to stop using PayPal, please take a look at other options: iDEAL, creditcards, bank transfers and yes, in the end we have the choice between a company that destroyed a violin and a company that destroyed the economy, but we have to start somewhere. Reducing fraud is important, but too many people get victimized by PayPal’s way of dealing with this problem.