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Kickstarter is US-only because Amazon Payments is US-only (well at least, they only denominate payments in dollars).

Kickstarter's payment needs are pretty different from other crowdfunding sites, as the credit card is authed right away... but not charged until the project is funded AND the deadline is reached (up to 60 days). There are very few payment vendors that will hold a conditional credit card charge like that, and certainly not any that will hold off on charging the card for 60 days.

Amazon Payments recently announced that they are going to stop "boarding fresh crowdfunding accounts at this time," and also kicked book crowdfunder unglue.it off their payments platform. Amazon's explanation was that, "we have regulatory obligations as a licensed money services business for how we operate."


In order to expand beyond the US, Kickstarter needs to either wait for a major payments provider to support their unique payment requirements... or to build up their own international payments provider. It's hard enough building a startup; building a second payments startup is a huge additional endeavour.

In short: payments is often much harder than it seems. It's not just a matter of translation and miniscule expenses... there is real engineering work required to tap into international payments and understand how payments work on a country-by-country basis.

Bears the question, why is Amazon Payment still US-only? We in Europe need stuff like that so badly. Hell even a lot of options that Paypal offers is not available in mainstream European countries. There is really a huge opportunity and need of Stripe / Wepay / competitors that work in Europe.

> the credit card is authed right away... but not charged until the project is funded AND the deadline is reached (up to 60 days).

Do you have a reference for this? I'm under the impression they only charge the cards once the funding goal is reached. Amex in particular only allows pre-authorizations to last up to a week.

<< As you know, every Kickstarter project has a funding goal and deadline, both of which are determined by the project creator. When that deadline is reached, one of two things happens:

1. If the project has met or exceeded its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are instantly charged and funds go directly to the project creator.

2. If the project has not met its funding goal, all pledges are immediately canceled. And that’s it.

Amazon Payments is the only processor that currently supports these requirements, and currently Amazon Payments does not support non-US recipients — meaning that you need a US bank account and address to launch a project on Kickstarter. >>


That doesn't say that they pre-authorize the amount. The requirement they're probably referring to is the ability to send funds directly to the project creator.

They definitely authorize credit cards when you pledge. It's happened to me when I pledged.

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