In the last 48 hours, there has been a lot of noise on the internet regarding a very unfortunate event involving Regretsy and PayPal. What happened was PayPal froze Regretsy’s account as the result of large sums of money received for their Secret Santa program via Regretsy’s donate button. PayPal also told Regretsy that they’d have to refund all donations and purchases that had not been processed. Since this issue hit the various social networks, PayPal has begun to take steps in order to fix the situation and they are donating $20,000 to Regretsy Secret Santa program. However, for many, it is too late. I’ve seen a lot of people say that they’ve closed their PayPal accounts.
The question I’ve been asked a few times since this thing became a thing is, “Are you going to close your PayPal account?” The short answer is, “No.”
A longer answer is: 90% of the payments I receive are via PayPal. This holds true for many independent content creators. Especially if they use services such as BandCamp, Lulu and a variety of other self-publishing platforms. Until those services offer alternative methods for the creator to receive payment for goods sold, many of us are stuck keeping our PayPal accounts open. Another reason for not being able to close a PayPal account is that not everyone has a credit card, myself included. One of the reasons a lot of merchants use PayPal is that it accepts payment directly via a bank account.
I’ve seen many people, including on GeekDad, make suggestions for alternative payment solutions, including Amazon and Google Checkout. The problem with both of those solutions, and every other solution I’ve seen, are: 1) As a merchant, you have to be American; 2) As a customer, you need to have a credit card. Being as I’m neither American, just like most of the world, nor do I have a credit card, these options are not viable for me as a merchant and customer.
I did come across one solution that will fix some of my fears, the major fear being afraid that PayPal will do to me what they did to Regretsy, because I make use of the donate button, and I’ll no longer have access to my funds. That solution is AlertPay.
AlertPay does everything that PayPal does and more. It is available in over 190 countries and a variety of currencies. Not only can you use your credit card or e-wallet which can be funded by bank account, but you can also send certified checks or money orders. You can also transfer funds directly between bank accounts and more. Transferring funds directly between bank accounts, sending certified checks and money orders is something that PayPal does not offer. They also offer merchant tools that PayPal does not have. And to make it better for me, they are a Canadian company. The only thing that may be seen as a negative is that their fees are a little bit higher for some of the services that they offer.
Once the verification process is complete, I’ll be adding AlertPay donate buttons on my websites. It will be a couple of days for that process to be complete. However, I will not be deleting my PayPal account. If other services that I use–such as BandCamp–and other merchants that I use–such as webhosting companies–begin to offer AlertPay as an alternative payment method to PayPal, then I’ll be able to make the switch complete. Until then, I’ll have to use both services.
If you are looking for an alternative to PayPal, one that offers the same services as PayPal and is available in most countries, not just the US, then give AlertPay a look.