Comments: PayPal's Singapore Sling

Ben,

I agree completely. I shall not use PayPal again unless absolutely necessary. They have the right to impose whatever restrictions they want on their users, and I have the related right to stop giving them my business whenever those restrictions become too heavy-handed.

This has to be the stupidest business decision I have seen in years. With the present boom in online poker sites -- most of which are fully legitimate, and enjoyed by millions of people including myself -- I cannot see why PayPal would voluntarily recuse themselves from this potentially lucrative market.

In solidarity,

Schwartz

Posted by Matthew S. Schwartz at September 25, 2004 06:50 PM

Well, there is a good reason for PayPal to ban gambling activity: namely, the Government will stomp on them if they don't. The Feds can't go after the users under law, so they go after those who transfer the money, or accept advertising from the sites, etc. So there is good business rationale for that.

But as for everything else -- especially pharmaceuticals and pornography -- I can't see why PayPal would act so heavy-handed. It's not merely that it has no business caring, it's that it's bad for the underlying business for them to play morality cop. And the firm's just asking for trouble with this matter of fines.

Finally, as for the whole issue of solidarity, I must say I have never used PayPal's service.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 25, 2004 07:23 PM

As an aside, I must say I have always had a soft spot for the idea of using gold as an on-line payment mechanism. Sadly, though, the present services offer no way for one to cash out and get one's hands on the metal. A good idea too soon, perhaps.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 25, 2004 07:27 PM