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Another victim of Paypal here. I run Jumpshare, a file sharing and collaboration service for creative professionals. This is what Paypal sent us:

"May 8, 2016: When you signed up for your PayPal account, you agreed to our User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy. Because some of your recent transactions violated this policy, we've had to permanently limit your account.

Please remove any references to PayPal from your website."

They never mentioned which transactions violated the policy, we have never had any complains from our customers. There was no prior warning. We called them and they asked us to email them. We sent multiple emails and nobody bothered to respond back. We lost 30% of our recurring monthly revenue right away!

We now use Stripe as our sole payment service provider. After this experience, we will probably never accept Paypal again.

Having read during the last few years about the endless horror stories businesses have endured with PayPal, I honestly don't understand why anyone would still use PayPal when there clearly are alternatives (be that US companies like Stripe or EU companies like Paymill).

Because they're still anecdotal and for most people, PayPal works just fine. I find the stories horrifying, but I ran about 40,000 transactions through PayPal in the last 5-6 years and never had any problems.

I guess this is how it is for most people, at least, I can use PayPal as a buyer on most online businesses I deal with.

Sure, using PayPal as a buyer is great as long as you never get into a dispute with a seller. It took about 4 months for me to get PayPal to refund my money when a seller on eBay ripped me off.

PayPal support was so inept they claimed that I had not returned the merchandise despite giving them the DHL tracking number and shipping receipt multiple times and eventually they closed my case in favor of the merchant.

I had to keep calling and harassing them and finally threatening to have the charges reversed by my credit card company when they suddenly reversed their decision.

I will never use PayPal for anything if I can avoid it.

I used to accept PayPal as a payment method when I was doing freelancing, ran hundreds of thousands of dollars through my account over the many years of having it. One client refuted a payment SIX MONTHS later, and they granted it to him based on the fact that it was a digital service and there's no way to verify it was successfully transferred.

I immediately closed my bank account (PayPal wouldn't let me remove it while a refund was being made. Yes they were going to debit my bank account since I had no funds in my account, which I never kept).

Now they've put that amount in collections and honestly, as someone who cares about his credit, that one will stay the time until it's removed. I'm not paying them, or the thief.

You could get together all your documentation with respect to that transaction and dispute that negative credit item directly with the three credit bureaus.

Exactly right, up to now the dispute existed in PayPal's walled garden and played out under their rules. PayPal's dispute resolution process has some serious flaws - with many high-profile examples - and often drags out to just slightly longer than the time limit for chargebacks (funny that, huh?).

I would raise the stakes a bit more and send PayPal a hard copy of supporting documentation and tell them that you will be disputing any negative report. Send this by a recorded delivery method like registered mail or courier. This means you can go to court and prove that PayPal had clear evidence of fraud and failed to take appropriate action. It also proves that they had knowledge of these facts prior to making the negative report to the credit agencies, which puts them in a bad spot if this all ends up in court. In the USA, the Fair Debt Reporting Act covers this scenario but similar laws exist in other countries.

Keep good documentation and send everything by a trackable method and never let these companies get away with ignoring you when you have a legitimate issue. Just make sure you are sure you have proof that you are correct, otherwise keep better documentation next time.

As a seller I requested a refund on Ebay and received my refund before I even shipped the goods back!

We run thousands of PayPal transactions per day. I've been keeping a record of the horrifying failures we've experienced in anticipation of someday writing a scathing blog entry. We sometimes see lost transactions - as in, call the 'execute' endpoint, get a 500, then all future attempts to fetch information for the payment fail. And no webhook. File a ticket, wait two weeks, then someone at PayPal acknowledges the problem and says it's fixed.

Forget all the policy problems. PayPal's basic technology platform doesn't work.

For me part of the reason is that Paypal is available in more countries than Stripe. For example, here I can withdraw money from PayPal to my local bank account. I dont think its possible with Stripe.

Last time I used Stripe it was directly connected to a bank account. They would sit on funds for a couple of days I guess this was to allow the transaction to clear whatever batch cycles happen behind the scenes (debits cards were typically faster than credit charges) but the deposits came directly into the account.

Has that changed?

I think it varies by country. Also Stripe isn't available in nearly as many markets as PayPal, two big ones that immediately pop out are Estonia and Hong Kong.

Another thing to bear in mind is lots of people outside the "main Western" countries (for lack of a better term) still don't have credit or debit cards that can be used to pay online. PayPal accepts a lot of local payment methods and even lets you transfer funds from your bank account.

I live in Lithuania (part of the EU since 2004, and Euro since 2015) and only this year have major retailers started to accept cards online. Before that you would receive an invoice and have to make a bank transfer (each bank had their own online payment system merchants could integrate to make it more streamlined) before goods were dispatched. Even now most cards need to be opted in for online payments.

fwiw, HK is in private beta: https://stripe.com/global

The rest of the world (including a significant portion of EU) still isn't, though. You can sell from basically anywhere with PayPal or FastSpring, not so with Stripe.

That may be true in US and other supported countries but unfortunately here (SE Asia) its not yet available. Stripe needs to support ALL countries to overtake PayPal.

Stripe: https://stripe.com/global Paypal is huge: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide

Let's not forget the real reason Paypal is popular. It has nothing to do with the international presence, or any other crap like that. It's because someone with ONE WEEK experience as a webdeveloper can implement a paypal button on their site and it'll just work. Stripe may seem like the same level of ease to a lot of developers, but things like JSON APIs, etc, are confusing to the kinds of developers Paypal appeals to and thus Paypal will remain the incumbent.

Because in some countries - like, for example, the Netherlands - creditcards are not a universally used thing. That leaves you with roughly two options for processing payments in a reasonably-easy-to-integrate manner: PayPal and Bitcoin.

And not enough people use Bitcoin to remove PayPal entirely.

EDIT: Yes, I know we have iDeal in the Netherlands. Every single company that processes it alongside other methods is either a nightmare to integrate, charges ridiculous fees, requires significant volume, doesn't do payouts over SEPA, or is similarly problematic as PayPal.

In my particular case, an added problem is that most of them refuse to process donations.

Because by offering PayPal one usually sees an increase in overall revenue than just by offering credit card payments alone.

Money talks. If revenue goes up, then people use PayPal. It's that simple.

Looking at Stripe's API docs, it seems their preferred payment technology is javascript popup which asks for CC number directly. If the technology has been 'properly implemented', only Stripe will see the credit card details, but as a consumer, I have no way to tell if the technology has been implemented properly.

As a result, I feel it is much safer to avoid typing my credit card number into random websites. Thus, my first reaction to a site which asks for my credit card (directly or via Stripe) is 'OK, are there any alternatives which take a safer payment method'

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