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Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet

PayPal's 'Policy Update' Includes Price Hikes (paypal.com) 141

"Buying and selling items on the internet is about to get a bit more expensive if you use PayPal to transfer money," reports MLive, noting that some of PayPal's fees will be increasing on March 29. Slashdot reader turbotalon also complains PayPal is disguising news of the price hikes as a "policy update". Roughly one quarter of the "policy changes" are rate hikes, yet their emailed summary glosses over the rate hike, focussing instead on a few of the "policy changes" with one sentence at the end about "changing some of the fees we charge". Additionally, they have added a "non-discouragement clause" for sellers that provides:

"In representations to your customers or in public communications, you agree not to mischaracterize PayPal as a payment method. At all of your points of sale (in whatever form), you agree not to try to dissuade or inhibit your customers from using PayPal; and, if you enable your customers to pay you with PayPal, you agree to treat PayPal's payment mark at least at par with other payment methods offered."

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PayPal's 'Policy Update' Includes Price Hikes

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  • Not use it? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sp4ni3l ( 1417195 )
    You could of course choose not to use it. This is a playing field with enough alternatives.
    • by WD ( 96061 )

      Do you have any suggestions for such alternatives?

      • Re: Not use it? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mmell ( 832646 )
        Uh, credit card? Debit card?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Idiot.

          He is mainly talking about sellers. Getting a CC authority is expensive and hard for many.

          On the buyer side there are benefits to not splashing your CC details to people on the net who may or may not store it and then get hacked.

          • If you have an online presence and sell products/services I highly recommend Stripe [stripe.com].

          • No it's not that hard to do. Matter of fact the last version of quickbooks I was using let you set it up from within the program

            https://search2.quickbooks.com... [quickbooks.com]

          • Idiot.

            He is mainly talking about sellers. Getting a CC authority is expensive and hard for many.

            On the buyer side there are benefits to not splashing your CC details to people on the net who may or may not store it and then get hacked.

            Paypal is a print money organization. Their inventory is equity. Ten years ago, the average item sold on Ebay or equivalent financial transaction was half of what it is today. So costs to purchase since even 5 years ago doubled, and paypal earns double the money for no greater risk. Now add higher rates. Shame

            I guess bitcoin will come along and make paypal obsolete. I certainly think that with paypal greed, it will happen sooner, rather than later.

        • How many private sellers or buyers can process credit cards? I can't! Please provide practical alternatives!
          • Re: Not use it? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Traxton ( 3986617 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:09PM (#53846631)
            In Sweden, we have something called "Swish". All transactions are done on your smart phone using the sellers mobile phone number. Both buyer and seller has configured which bank account the money gets transferred to and from. Only thing that gets shared is your phone number. The service is 100% free for both buyer and seller. This has replaced paypal and cash in almost all transactions (Sweden is estimated to be 97% cash free).
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              > Sweden is estimated to be 97% fully surveilled and controlled.

              FTFY.

            • Re: Not use it? (Score:5, Informative)

              by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:37PM (#53846733) Homepage Journal

              Sweden, like most of Europe has a payer initiated system. USA doesn't. Here, all transfers are started by the receiving side (payee), and then the payer (or bank or credit institution on behalf of the sender) have to approve it.
              So a giro system isn't possible, and bank account numbers becomes private information to be guarded.

              Yes, it's pretty damn backwards. Hell, a large portion of Americans still pay by cheque. And credit and debit cards still have a magnetic strip. Even those that have a chip still have the magnetic strip. And raised letters. As late as last year, I paid in a store where they rolled carbon paper over the card to get an imprint. No, I'm not kidding.
              The bank I use (one of America's largest) doesn't even have two-factor authentication for its online banking, something my European bank had back in '98.

              It's by far the most antiquated banking system I have encountered anywhere in the world, yet Americans believe they're the most advanced nation on the planet...
              To Americans, PayPal seems like a miracle of convenience...

              • by Anonymous Coward
                Joe 'murkin doesn't want secure, they want convenience. convenience made 'murika great. security is for suckers.
              • by Anonymous Coward

                It's by far the most antiquated banking system I have encountered anywhere in the world, yet Americans believe they're the most advanced nation on the planet...
                To Americans, PayPal seems like a miracle of convenience...

                There are actually quite a few of us that understand this is purely a matter of greed. US banks will continue to refuse to implement ANY kind of additional security, unless required to by law, because they claim it will cost them millions of dollars that is better spent giving their chief executives huge unearned bonuses. This is the exact excuse they used when they refuse to implement chip & PIN on credit cards, like most of Europe uses. Now I hear that Trump wants to get rid of the Dodd-Frank law, whi

              • Let me se if I have this right: if petson A wants to send person b (both live in the us) person a must tell person b (via bs bank) to request a trensfer from person as accont in oeson as bank.. bacwards indeed, i hope i misunderstood something
                • by arth1 ( 260657 )

                  Let me se if I have this right: if petson A wants to send person b (both live in the us) person a must tell person b (via bs bank) to request a trensfer from person as accont in oeson as bank.. bacwards indeed, i hope i misunderstood something

                  No, that's pretty much it. That's often done by sending the recipient a cheque, which the recipient takes to his bank, and the bank contacts the sender's bank to get the money. That might take a week. It can be speeded up by buying a money order, which is basically a bank cheque. Then the "clearing" time is less.

                  For my fellow Americans: How it works in most of the world is that when A wants to pay B, he asks for and gets B's account number, and instructs his bank to deposit the funds into that account.

              • The less advanced your banking system, the more enlightened you are.

          • Square [squareup.com]?
            • by rworne ( 538610 )

              Be a Luddite and use US postal money orders.

              Back before PayPal was merged with eBay and CC use became common, I used this method. Only drawback is that it's slower.

              Buyer sends M.O., When it arrives, go to the P.O. to mail the item. Cash the M.O. and pay the postage. If the M.O. is bad or counterfeit, you know right then before your item leaves your hands.

              What's in it for the buyer? Proof of payment. Besides, using the P.O. for fraud is a bad idea (for either party).

              • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

                Be a Luddite and use US postal money orders.

                Back before PayPal was merged with eBay and CC use became common, I used this method. Only drawback is that it's slower.

                Buyer sends M.O., When it arrives, go to the P.O. to mail the item. Cash the M.O. and pay the postage. If the M.O. is bad or counterfeit, you know right then before your item leaves your hands.

                What's in it for the buyer? Proof of payment. Besides, using the P.O. for fraud is a bad idea (for either party).

                Yeah, and that really adds a lot of fricti

        • Uh, credit card? Debit card?

          1. Credit/debit cards cannot be used for peer-to-peer transactions.
          2. Credit/debit cards require trust. How do I know that some random website isn't going to resell my CC info to criminals? Or charge additional fees to my card without my approval? Or store my info unencrypted on their insecure server? None of these are issues with Paypal.

          • by arth1 ( 260657 )

            1. Credit/debit cards cannot be used for peer-to-peer transactions.

            Not entirely true. Some ATMs allow using a debit card to do a giro transfer, for immediate deposit to the payee's account.
            If you don't have your 2-factor authentication for doing it online, it saves you and the teller from having to do it inside a bank branch.

        • Can you show me to how only take credit card payments on eBay? I remember when you were allowed to send money orders! When Google came out with their payment system eBay started cancelling auctions who used it and then they bought PayPal.

        • PayPal provides a level of security when paying an unknown party. It is like using a terminal instead of giving the credit card to a stranger to run.if costs get too high, many people are going to choose amazon instead of eBay.
          • I don't know anyone who still uses eBay for anything over choosing Amazon for buying and selling already.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Last I checked, Amazon didn't allow sellers to list used products in a lot of categories, such as used toys. (source [amazon.com]) This leaves eBay for toy collectors.

      • http://tech.co/top-15-alternat... [tech.co] Just to name a few on top of normal creditcards?
      • Square
        Stripe
        BluePay

      • by darkain ( 749283 )

        http://authorize.net/ [authorize.net]

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Bitcoin?

      • by doccus ( 2020662 )

        Do you have any suggestions for such alternatives?

        Er...I've heard there's some german system.. name escapes me.. And some other american system.. name escapes me, as well. I think I've made my point...
        Most vendors only offer PP anyways, so the whole "policy update" appears to me to be, in addition to a rate update, a "talk nicely about usor you're gonna be TOAST!"

    • by TRRosen ( 720617 )

      Of course all the alternatives have the same terms. its just standard fare for financial transactions.

  • alliteration is always admirable.
  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @02:54PM (#53846569) Homepage Journal

    ... you agree not to mischaracterize PayPal as a payment method. ... you agree to treat PayPal's payment mark at least at par with other payment methods offered.

    So it is a mischaracterization for us to call it a payment method, but PayPal calls it a payment method. More to the point, if it isn't a payment method—a means of transferring money to someone in exchange for goods or services—then what the heck is it and why would anybody want to use it?

    Somehow, this contract seems invalid to me, or at least guaranteed to reduce PayPal use significantly by preventing it from being characterized in any meaningful way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I could be wrong but I got the impression that this sentence is meant to say something like "you agree not to mischaracterize Paypal's quality as a payment method" and it's just poorly worded.

    • by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:06PM (#53846613) Homepage Journal

      They mean, don't mischaracterise Paypal, not that calling it a payment method is a mischaracterisation.

      I think they just don't want you to say Paypal is shit and doesn't do this or that, or gives the seller some disadvantage. I guess even if those things are true, they're claiming it as 'mischaracterisation'.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        but payypal is shit and calling it shit would not be a mis-characterization.

  • by WoodburyMan ( 1288090 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @02:56PM (#53846577)

    Sounds like all the more reason to switch over to payment in either Bitcoin or Either. Bitcoin first, however Either is generalized as more business friendly, with contracts and such being allowed. Dell, NewEgg, Overstock, and several other online vendors use it as a zero-cost alternative already for digital transactions. No PayPal fees, no credit card processing fees. Digital cash. Also works great for sending people money.

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:11PM (#53846639)

    I actively discourage customers from using PayPal because PayPal costs me money. I will continue to do so for this reason - it's truth. I pay no fee for receiving cash or checks, PayPal sometimes withholds funds, delays payments, makes life generally difficult and is insecure for me as the seller. When PayPal is on par with cash or a check, costing me nothing more and being just as secure for me the seller then I'll treat PayPal the same.

    • All forms of payment cost money. Ever tried to deposit $50k at a national bank account? Fee. Have more than X number of checks per month. Fee.

      CC fees are more, no doubt. BUT, for the consumer, having an intermediary like a CC is an enormous level should anything go wrong with the transaction. It's almost a mini-escow transaction, but where the buyer has an unfair advantage in the initial mediation - aka a chargeback. If it's a transaction worth more than $100 or so, there is almost no way I'll be paying wi

      • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @04:00PM (#53846893)

        All forms of payment cost money. Ever tried to deposit $50k at a national bank account? Fee.

        Bank Of America is a scumbag organization run by scumbags, but no, they won't charge me a fee for depositing $50k.

        Call them yourself and ask them, "Is there a fee for depositing $50,000", and they'll confirm that they do not bill you for depositing money.

        Foreign currency or wire transfers, maybe, but a US check for $50k or $50k in US cash will be accepted without a fee. It'll get you put on a watchlist, of course, but there's no fee for that either.

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        Only about 0.0001% of my customer invoices are >$10,000 and none have ever been $50,000 so your point is useless. When I bought large parcels of land I withdrew and deposited upwards of $80,000 and there were no fees. 98% of the checks are $1,000. I get charged nothing by my bank for depositing cash or checks. Perhaps you need to switch banks.

      • by nnull ( 1148259 )

        "All forms of payment cost money. Ever tried to deposit $50k at a national bank account? Fee. Have more than X number of checks per month. Fee."

        Uhh, yes, all the time, I don't pay a fee to my bank for doing so. Unless you live in some crap country that does.

    • by Mandrel ( 765308 )

      With these new conditions, if you still dissuade your customers from using PayPal, you risk having PayPal cut you off.

      In Australia, it's illegal for companies to ban reasonable surcharges, so PayPal can't stop vendors adding a surcharge to recoup the PayPal fees, to prevent PayPal cross-subsidising other payment methods. But elsewhere they can impose this sort of parity clause that Amazon is so famous for, using their muscle to gain immunity from fee hikes, and as a way to make all sellers pay for buyer

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        "you risk having PayPal cut you off."

        Not a big deal. 99% of my business does not involve PayPal. Most customers pay with checks or cash. PayPal benefits more than I do from the transactions.

        • by Mandrel ( 765308 )
          Are PayPal's fees well beyond your cost of handling checks or cash? Are you seeing an increased demand for card payments? I'd guess that card payments would be a much larger fraction of your business if your customers could just tap their card or phone rather than swipe/insert & enter-PIN/sign.
          • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

            Most of my customers are wholesale. I give them an invoice and either they pay then COD (most restaurants do that) or they pay Net-15.

            About 10% or so of my customers are retail and they pay a deposit, then the remainder due at delivery COD with a check or cash.

            My cost of handling the cash and checks is trivial compared with the PayPal charges.

            It used to be that there was a reasonable reason for the credit card company charges but now with everything so automated they should drop their fees to about 1/10th o

            • by Mandrel ( 765308 )

              Direct bank account to bank account transfers are cheaper than cards, and are getting cheaper and quicker.

              In Australia these are free, but currently take 12-48 hours (only on business days). Later this year an instant (and still free?) system is coming in.

              I don't know whether ACH in the US is developing along the same lines, but it has the potential to kill off debit cards, especially if the card companies can no longer hide their fees from customers by banning vendor surcharges.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        I suggested don't "Dissuade" them from using PayPal.
        Actively encourage an alternative method by providing the customer a financial incentive to use the method that is best for you as seller.

        • by Mandrel ( 765308 )
          I'd say that PayPal's parity clause bans both PayPal surcharges as well as discounts for other payment methods such as cash. Same for the big card companies.
    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      OK..... Assume I want to not use Paypal..... How can I transact on eBay as a seller without getting a Credit card merchant account?

  • by Thanatiel ( 445743 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @04:40PM (#53847125)

    Why would anyone pay more if there are several other, safe, ways to pay a shop?
    Whenever I use a debit or a credit card, the transaction has to be authenticated with the bank using a small device.
    PayPal will lose market share in Europe if it becomes more expensive.

  • Paypal dying? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday February 12, 2017 @01:09AM (#53849151) Homepage Journal

    Just a couple of days ago I bought something on eBay and had to pay 520USD. To my surprise the system demanded that I had to contact PayPal customer support. Amazingly enough I was able to get through the maze of call answering menus and eventually had a human on the phone. She asked me to confirm the visa number (interestingly enough it seems they have the access to the unencrypted visa numbers) and eventually said I had to log out, log back in and try again. This time the transaction went through. I asked her what this was all about, she replied that they have to confirm large transactions ?????????? (520usd is a 'large transaction'???????) to avoid fraud. Immediately I thought that PayPal is in trouble. If they have to confirm transactions of that type and amount by hand, it seems to me their transaction costs have to grow significantly and they will become uncompetitive compared to visa and such. Seems to me PayPal is dying.

  • Currency conversion and higher seller fees for selling outside the US. Getting with the Trump in crowd?

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