Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Almighty Buck News

India Suspended From PayPal For "At Least a Few Months" 186

Posted by kdawson
from the keeping-the-money-out dept.
More details have come about about what was behind PayPal's decision to suspend personal payments to any user in India, as we discussed on Sunday. In a blog post today, PayPal revealed that payments to India will remain in suspension for at least a few months. Customers in India will be able to pull rupees out of the service into their bank accounts within a few days. The suspension came about when Indian government regulators raised questions about whether PayPal's service was enabling remittances (transfers of money by foreign workers) to Indian citizens. "The problems may have been triggered by a marketing push that promotes PayPal as a way to send money abroad, a source familiar with the matter said. The campaign — which reads 'As low as $1.50 to send $300 to countries like India' — may have caught the attention of Indian regulators, the source said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

India Suspended From PayPal For "At Least a Few Months"

Comments Filter:
  • State vs Internet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drDugan (219551) *

    Stopping money flow and financial services innovation is, like Internet censorship,
    a symptom of the fundamental conflict between the traditional role the state has expanded
    to cover (ie governments) and the transparent, open and global nature of the Internet.

    When everyone on the planet can communicate directly and immediately, through
    fully automated translators, to any other connected person or to large groups
    - why exactly do we need massive percentages (10-50%) of our resources funneled
    to maintain the state

    • by kai_hiwatari (1642285) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:34PM (#31082040) Homepage Journal

      Stopping money flow and financial services innovation is, like Internet censorship,

      Its not about stopping money flow, but rather money flow in a regulated manner. I don't think its even legal for PayPal to have the services they offer without registering itself as a bank. As another someone said earlier, "The problem is PayPal wants to do the functions of a bank but does not want to be registered as a bank".

      • Re:State vs Internet (Score:5, Informative)

        by ImNotAtWork (1375933) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:43PM (#31082094)
        You don't have to be a bank to transfer funds from one point to another. Western Union can send money across international boundaries. It isn't a bank either, it's a financial service.
        • Re:State vs Internet (Score:5, Informative)

          by _merlin (160982) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:45PM (#31082100) Homepage Journal

          Western Union doesn't hold funds in accounts for you, and doesn't do short-term loans.

          • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:58PM (#31082188)
            And don't forget, India was mostly unaffected by our recent economic downturn because of their draconian economic laws. For decades they were criticized for their over regulation of their financial markets but after the fall, India was seen as a model for how markets could survive wide-scale economic collapse.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

              It seems maybe India can ride out booms too, not get affected so much by other people making money.

              India has been independent for roughly the same amount of time as Japan, a country leveled by the US in WWII. For its recent problems, Japan is still a major economic power, despite having a small fraction of the population of India. India's per capita income is $3100, Japan's is ten times that. Sure, India is right behind Japan in total GDP, the population difference is staggering.

          • by sjames (1099)

            Western Union also don't consider itself free to just grab your funds whenever it suits them and hold them for as long as they like.

        • Re:State vs Internet (Score:5, Informative)

          by iammani (1392285) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:59PM (#31082196)
          FYI, not in India. Western union cannot be used to send money from India. It can be used to send to India though, where the recipient can furnish necessary documentation (identity proof, name address, reason for transfer) and collect it.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by BrokenHalo (565198)
            FYI, not in India.

            Exactly. For once, it does not seem to be PayPal that is the baddie here. Although there have been many cases where PayPal has essentially snatched or frozen customers' funds, this doesn't seem to be one of them.
            • by paziek (1329929) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:33AM (#31083706)

              They are baddie here. Banks probably don't have any issues with transferring funds to/from India. PayPal refuses to register as a bank and thus they get this issue. On the other hand, they are registered as a bank in EU and don't have any problems anymore. So perhaps they don't care about India that much?
              Don't blame them [India] for wanting to know what is happening with their own currency/finances.

          • Don't you get it? They just want their cut, and don't want Paypal to walk with it. The rest is noise.
        • by jonbryce (703250)

          In Britain, Western Union's banking type services are provided by Clydesdale Bank. Paypal hasn't partnered with a local bank to provide any of its banking type services.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by zemblue (1404121)
        It is about stopping money flow. Somebody has purposefully done this to restrict our ability to help each other. (conspiracy alert) Artificial barriers have been put in place to restrict our movements in nearly all ways. Getting money overseas should be easy, but it has been made difficult to keep the poor countries poor. If India were able to access more resources I am sure the whole world would benefit, there are so many talented people being put through financial hardship in India. If information, co
        • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @01:14AM (#31082530) Journal
          That's so true. Because of such artificial barriers I need your excellent help to transfer 40 million US dollars from Nigeria to Malaysia. :).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by prayag (1252246)
          Actually money transfer to India is not difficult at all. I use bank and wire transfer and it works fine to transfer money to and from India. The problem is that Indian government wants to keep a full track of where and how money crosses border. It always had. Transfers through PayPal, unless it registers itself as a bank, are difficult to track. That is why the problem.
          BTW, for this reason, hawala [wikipedia.org] transfers are illegal in India and have come under heavy fire.
      • "The problem is PayPal wants to do the functions of a bank but does not want to be registered as a bank"

        Whoever said that doesn't know what a bank does. It's not about holding money for you (everyone from your mutual fund advisor to escrow services to pre-paid cell phone vendors does that) or enabling financial transactions (any retailer can do that) or enabling currency exchanges (any hotel can do that).

        When Paypal says you have $100 in your account, they actually have that money somewhere waiting for you

        • by pyite (140350) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:33AM (#31084014)

          When Paypal says you have $100 in your account, they actually have that money somewhere waiting for you to withdraw.

          What in the world makes you think that? Not only do they probably have the money in various forms of liquid and illiquid assets, but there isn't even FDIC insurance to protect you if they screw up.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        And a lot of the constraints about being registered as a bank have less to do with real regulation that prevent chaos than with the current banks discouraging newcomers.
      • In Europe at least, Paypal is registered as a bank, and is regulated as such.
      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        Repeating myself for the umpteenth time, PayPal _is_ a bank based in Luxembourg since July 2, 2007.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPal#Bank_status [wikipedia.org]

    • by ColaMan (37550) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:54PM (#31082164) Homepage Journal

      why exactly do we need massive percentages (10-50%) of our resources funneled
      to maintain the state and state-run defense and services

      So that people who are envious of your physical resources don't all band together, drop by your house one day, and proceed to hack you to bits with machetes? So that there's a semi-controlled environment to enable the provision of services - like power, water and maybe even a little internet?

      * physical defense and security being the only notable exception.

      And a very big fucking exception they will remain, too.
      Dreams, meet reality. Watch out for reality's sucker punch, it can really catch you unawares.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dalambertian (963810)
        Out of curiosity, what percentage of our wealth would you say is required to provide for the common defense?

        a) 0-10% b)10-50% c) > 50%

        If you answered (a), then you and dugan might be in agreement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The white man emasculates you
        because you assume he will emasculate you.
        The black man steals from you
        because you assume he will steal from you.
        The brown man slows you
        because you assume he will slow you.
        The yellow man trumps you
        because you assume he will trump you.

        We kill others
        because we assume they will kill us.
        We lie to others
        because we assume they will lie to us.
        We horde from others
        because we assume they will horde from us.
        We help others...

        Self-fulfilling stereotypes can only be stopped at the source: You

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by avilliers (1158273)

      The necessary reasons for countries as they exist today mostly go away when the Internet fully connects individuals.* Obsolescence is a terrible thing for bureaucracy, but can be framed as the primary driver of most "issues" governments have with the Internet.

      * physical defense and security being the only notable exception.

      Can you give one example of a core role that becomes obsolete? I assume there must be something. The post? That was a core role a couple centuries ago, I guess.

      Most state funds go to transportation infrastructure, "physical defense" (ie, military), law enforcement & prisons, education, health care, retirement pensions and other social safety nets (not in that order). Research funding, parks, civil courts, disaster recovery aid & regulatory enforcement and the like are a few of the other less-exp

    • by westlake (615356)
      Stopping money flow and financial services innovation is, like Internet censorship, a symptom of the fundamental conflict between the traditional role the state has expanded to cover (ie governments) and the transparent, open and global nature of the Internet.

      I've had all the innovation in financial services I can stand for a decade or so, thank you.

      There is nothing inherently open and transparent about the Internet. Traffic can be encyrpted or disguised in any number of ways, some more successful than o

    • Re:State vs Internet (Score:4, Interesting)

      by obarthelemy (160321) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @01:41AM (#31082610)

      ?

      1- PayPal is a poster case of why governments are needed: freezing, canceling, hijacking accounts with no rhyme, reason, nor customer service. Just imagine if banks where free to keep your cash 'coz they no longer like you. I'll use PayPal once it is regulated, meself.

      2- In some countries, the government is not only about regional control and protection. Education, Health, Retirement, Social Security... To my unprofessional eyes, governments do not seem to do much worse than the private sector in those domains, on average. I'd rather study, be sick, retire or be on the dole in France than in the US.

      3- Countries exist because it is easier to feel close to people with the same language and culture.

      Have you traveled at all ? Not as a tourist, but staying for moth than a month in a different country, working with locals ?

      • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tkrotchko (124118)

        "I'll use PayPal once it is regulated, meself."

        So you tie your paypal account to a credit card, and every time you log in they say "Give us all your bank account information, that will be really convenient!".

        And you wonder, who are they trying to kid? Paypal answers to no one, and it appears they want access to your bank account not because it's convenient, but because when they deal with a credit card company, *there are federal laws that give you protections that PayPal would rather you not have*.

        Like:

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nmos (25822)

      For as long as there have been people they have been forming groups in order to advance their own interests at the expense of others. That's part of human nature and I don't see it changing any time soon.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      - why exactly do we need massive percentages (10-50%) of our resources funneled to maintain the state and state-run defense and services?

      Because, believe it or not, there is life outside of the Internet.

      • by JustOK (667959)

        Because, believe it or not, there is life outside of the Internet.

        Yah, I know. I just got the app for that.

    • You are right in what you say but you are missing the story here. Paypal isn't a money transfer service like it pretends to be, it's a bunch of crooks pretending to be a bank.

      Paypal deserves to go bust and its management thrown in jail for the very many instances of theft they have committed over the years.

      Anyone that hasn't seen the near endless stories about paypal closing accounts and keeping the cash for the most flimsy reason should exercise their googling skills.

      • I've seen such stories and indeed they are sad, PayPal really looks like a mindless bully stealing money with random "BOFH-Calendar" excuses...

        BUT...

        There's a small 1% part of the fault in the users themselves:
        - PayPal pretends to be a cash transfer service, not a Bank.
        - Then why the hell are people keeping money in their PayPal accounts ?!? As soon as it gets into your PayPal, get it out of there and transfer it into a SAFER REAL BANK account.
        People who rely on PayPal for their business should have the dis

        • PayPal pretends to be a cash transfer service, not a Bank.

          Oh, they're a cash transfer service alright - from buyers and sellers to themselves.

    • by Kris_J (10111) *
      Paypal specialises in dodging regulation and being an arsehole. There may well be times when you can sing the praises of the wondrous capitalist market and how it solves everything, but this is not one of them.
    • Stopping money flow and financial services innovation is, like Internet censorship,
      a symptom of the fundamental conflict between the traditional role the state has expanded
      to cover (ie governments) and the transparent, open and global nature of the Inte

      What you do not get is that money is an invention of the government, therefor, it has every right to regulate it. Right now, India manipulates its currency such that the price of its workers are at an advantage to the price of work in the west, so as to get

  • Paypal is a mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seriousity (1441391) <Seriousity@NOSPaM.live.com> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:29PM (#31082016)
    I hope they get in the crap with even more countries and are forced to do stuff like this, maybe eventually they'll have to declare themselves as an actual bank and give their users rights over their money for a change. There is so much dubious crap buried in the terms and conditions that none save a seasoned lawyer would figure out, and so many stories of people being royally screwed over by paypal (eg bank accounts being wiped out for no apparent reason)...
    • Re:Paypal is a mess (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @12:33AM (#31082340)

      My IP, name, address, phone number, etc. are banned on paypal and any variation thereof and they tried to send a collection agency after me for 2 accounts I had. I told them to fuck off and they can't do jack since I, as a precautionary measure, changed my bank account numbers as soon as they limited my accounts. Just because some buyer decides to do a chargeback on his credit card 120 days after purchase does not mean I am responsible for the money. Paypal is not a bank. I did not borrow from them. I do not owe them anything, and they can't touch my credit. The paypalsucks website is living truth of what they can do to their customers. Some people lost $5K plus, and most are scared into cooperating by the collection agency. I at least didn't lose anything except for the account I opened in 1999 and my ability to use ebay, but they can lose the business. I use craigslist instead now and don't have to pay to put up auctions or pay transfer fees.

    • Re:Paypal is a mess (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @12:58AM (#31082472)

      "There is so much dubious crap buried in the terms and conditions that none save a seasoned lawyer would figure out, and so many stories of people being royally screwed over by paypal (eg bank accounts being wiped out for no apparent reason)..."

      As someone who worked at PayPal and saw the horror first hand over the years, I cannot possibly agree more. The Terms sheet is a deck that is stacked against the user at every opportunity.

      I remember first hand seeing an employee (with a reputation for incompetence) award $30,000 to a fraudster from a legitimate business account. This is a common error, and PayPal sets aside a budget to fix these mistakes. But because of the dollar amount, upper management decided to hide behind some vague language in the terms sheet and screw the good user.

      I don't know how the story ended out exactly. Legally they may have gotten away with it. But just because it was legal doesn't mean it was moral.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:29PM (#31082020) Homepage

    Isn't this in direct contradiction to something PayPal said a day or two ago? Something akin to "golly gee we're not sure what happened but we're looking into it".

    On another note, this applies to private transactions only, not commercial ones. This directly affects any freelancers who aren't operating as a company though, such as Rent-A-Coder, et. al.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mysidia (191772)

      On another note, this applies to private transactions only, not commercial ones. This directly affects any freelancers who aren't operating as a company though, such as Rent-A-Coder, et. al.

      According to TFA it applies to personal payments, not purchase of goods or services, regardless of whether they're operating as a corporation or not.

      If this was a payment for a purchase of goods or services, you should contact the sender and have him or her resend the payment as follows:

      (a) click the Send Money ta

      • According to TFA it applies to personal payments, not purchase of goods or services

        Most freelancers in India are receiving their money as personal payments.

      • According to TFA it applies to personal payments, not purchase of goods or services, regardless of whether they're operating as a corporation or not.

        This doesn't make sense. If you're operating as a corporation then surely it's a business payment, not a personal one?

    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      > This directly affects any freelancers who aren't operating as a company though, such as Rent-A-Coder, et. al.

      Ahhh, we can finally raise our rates to American ones, thanks...

      You know it takes a lot of money to live here, don't you ?

      I am not saying this really seriously of course ;-))

    • Isn't this in direct contradiction to something PayPal said a day or two ago? Something akin to "golly gee we're not sure what happened but we're looking into it".

      If the government blocked it, and told them not to tell anybody, they're hardly likely to answer "The government told us to do it, but they also said to keep quiet about it".

  • ... and tax evasion IMHO is what this is really going to be about sooner or later.

    Paypal allows ones to hide funds from governments of the world as a non bank institution.

    • Yeah but do you have any idea how scary it would be to keep any sum of money that was actually worth saving in a paypal account?

      I can see something like returning a $100 ebay purchase and being too lazy to initiate the transfer back to your bank account (since you would eventually spend it anyways)..if they should randomly shut you down you are not out very much. But if you had the kind of money that is worth hiding....

  • So is it illegal to transfer money into India? or do they just highly monitor all ways to do this (other then paypal)?

    I fail to see how such a policy is worth the economic problems of shuting down paypal for a whole country must of caused.
    And I am sure most of the people currently doing the remittances have probably been doing it for quite awhile, so why were they is such a rush that they could not have "fixed" their system without shutting down paypal in the mean time?
    • by compro01 (777531)

      So is it illegal to transfer money into India?

      If you don't feel like following the reasonable regulations on foreign exchange transactions and submit the proper paperwork (a trivial one page form), yes.

      This is basically India taking issue with paypal wanting to act like a bank without being regulated like one.

    • I fail to see how such a policy is worth the economic problems of shuting down paypal for a whole country must of caused.

      Firstly: it's must have, not must of. Surely you're not 12 years old with that UID?

      Secondly: What makes you think paypal is so integral to the Indian economy that it "must have" caused "economic problems"? Rest assured that this is unlikely to have caused more than a teeny tiny blip in the grand scheme of things.

      And I am sure most of the people currently doing the remittances have probably been doing it for quite awhile, so why were they is such a rush that they could not have "fixed" their system without shutting down paypal in the mean time?

      You might not be familiar with the words "financial regulator" in America, but generally speaking in the rest of the world, when they act they act immediately and don't dither or worry about a poten

      • While I am sure it did not damage India's economy the linked article did state that some (a significant enough "some" to be worth mentioning, apparently) of them do use it to get payed for their job.
        So this action by PayPal I am sure has inconvenienced many people and for any everyone that uses it as a source of income could find the next months financially challenging.
        So while they might not have a right to operate, I would hope any country would think twice before doing anything that would jeopardize an
        • Re:So ... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dakameleon (1126377) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:01AM (#31083832)

          While I am sure it did not damage India's economy the linked article did state that some (a significant enough "some" to be worth mentioning, apparently) of them do use it to get payed for their job.

          "Some" of India's 1 billion plus population might be a non-trivial number but the amounts involved are not significant in a $1 trillion plus GDP economy. Sure, some people got burned using a method that's been called into question by the regulator; it's no biggie from India's overall point of view. From Paypal's point of view though, it's significant because of the potential of the Indian market, and that's why I think it's been given such coverage - it is an American publication focused on the technology space, which means Paypal is significant to it. It's a question of perspective.

          So this action by PayPal I am sure has inconvenienced many people and for any everyone that uses it as a source of income could find the next months financially challenging.

          It isn't an action by Paypal, it's an action by the Indian regulator, and it's not a source of income, it's a method of payment - payment that can be achieved through other means.

          So while they might not have a right to operate, I would hope any country would think twice before doing anything that would jeopardize any of its citizens legal sources of income.

          The issue is that their their method of payment is under investigation. Whether it's because the payment method allows them to dodge taxes, avoid necessary official declaration or simply that it can aid money laundering, it's something that a regulator is obliged to do. If the word "terrorist" was thrown in there, for example "paypal shuttered because it potentially allows terrorists to transfer funds", would that be sufficient justification?

          Note: I was not overly careful with my grammar so maybe you can find another mistake to poke fun of, if you find my logic/opinion to hard to counter.

          It wasn't an issue of grammar, it was the wrong word entirely. My issue was with ignorance and the transmutation of "'ve" to "of" due to idiocy, and I called you on it to make an effort to stop it spreading. If you don't want to make an effort to proof your writing, that's your choice, but don't get defensive when you get called on it.

  • I'm sure it has something to do with an Indian entity, say the government and banks, being cut out of fees.

    Baksheesh.

    • According to the World Bank, India is the world's LARGEST recipient of remittances. I assume the Indian government got commission out from these remittances. Having PayPal operate there will bypass the whole SWIFT system, which mean that the government will lose a huge income.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by _merlin (160982)

        SWIFT doesn't actually perform fund transfers. SWIFT just provides a standard platform for sending messages between banks. It's the Indian banks (and other ForEx providers) who have to report transactions to the government, anyway.

  • God forbid that someone should give some money to someone else!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tangent3 (449222)

      They are not trying to stop you from giving money to someone else, but from giving money to someone else [b]without leaving a trace[/b] that can be taxed or to be investigated for illegal money laundering.

  • Yo! India politicians! Another word for remittances is: FOREIGN CAPITAL. They're a GOOD THING. You want your citizens to GET LOTS OF THEM. Getting foreign money into your country is a FREE LUNCH. It's the reason your EXPORT STUFF.

    My god. I shake my head.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @03:39AM (#31083192)

      Not when the "FOREIGN CAPITAL" exchange service skirts the rules of responsible financial governance... or funds terrorism.

      Paypal is not the only option and they should learn to play by the rules the makes sense.

    • by pkphilip (6861)

      Foreign capital is fine. India has multiple options for transferring capital to India. What the regulators don't want is unregulated transfers happening - possibly due to the old bogey of terrorism.

    • Number 1:

      It's about taxes. When a huge amount of money is moving through a specific channel, the government will always attempt to tax it.

      Number 2:

      It's about social control. India must be suppressed. Right now, slave labor in India is one of the great engines driving it's growing economy. The longer that lasts, the better India will be off down the road. (The Hoover Dam is an American example; even though it cost a ton of cash, the workers at the time were barely being paid because it was a time in Ame

    • I could not help myself but read your comment in the "Brawndo" advertisement style.

      FOREIGN CAPITAL - except the capital is 300 FEET TALL AND COVERED IN CHAINSAWS
  • I guess we can assume their customer service will be even more useless than usual now.

  • by nerdyalien (1182659) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @03:18AM (#31083094)

    I visited New Delhi last November (2009).

    On my way in, I managed to change my USD to INR at the airport right after the immigration counter, no problem with that.

    But on my way out, I thought I can get my INR change back to USD at the air port (this is my normal routine). Alas! there are no money-changers at the airport. Even if they are available, they are only for Indians and it is capped at INR 5000.

    I ended up bringing some 5-digit amount INR back to home, later changed back to USD and lost something like ~20 USD as I don't get same rates outside India.

    This is ridiculous. I mean, I have been to many airports. And in most of them, there is a money changer and there are no restrictions for foreigners. But this is the first time I'm seeing other way around. Strange land indeed!

    • by winwar (114053)

      "And in most of them, there is a money changer and there are no restrictions for foreigners. But this is the first time I'm seeing other way around. Strange land indeed!"

      That actually is actually the norm for many "developing" countries. They want currency (wealth) to flow into the country but not out. Often a sign of an unstable local currency.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

Working...