[Foundation-l] Alternative to paypal

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Sun Aug 12 14:02:51 UTC 2007

On 8/12/07, Sebastian Moleski <sebmol at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8/12/07, Mark Ryan <ultrablue at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I've heard a lot of horror stories about Paypal.

Most of the horror stories about Paypal are from the early days,
and/or from tiny businesses with grey-area business practices.

> > And considering that
> > by using PayPal, we're basically paying eBay a percentage of donations
> > we receive, I reckon it'd be a good idea to look at alternatives every
> > now and then. Now that Wikimedia has hit the big time, our support for
> > any particular payment method may actually become important.
> >
> When you accept credit cards, a percentage goes to VISA, Mastercard, etc.,
> another percentage to your merchant account provider. How's that different
> from Paypal/eBay taking a cut?
Merchant accounts are often cheaper, but they also are often harder to
manage than paypal, especially when dealing with people in so many
countries, using so many different currencies, etc.

> Either way, the question that should drive our decision regarding available
> payment methods is fairly simple: what methods do a significant number of
> donors (or a few donors with donations of a significant amount) prefer? If
> it's Paypal, that's what we ought to have. If it's checks, money orders,
> wires, debit transfers, credit cards, debit cards, Moneybookers, gift cards,
> etc. then we ought to offer those too.
Support for micropayments is a cool feature, and something which isn't
really offered by paypal.  Then again, the impact such a feature would
have on foundation revenue would probably be small percentagewise.

If I were King of Wikipedia I'd probably try out amazon's payment
system for the cool factor, to have a readily available backup, and
just to learn more about micropayments, but not for financial reasons.
 I'm a big fan of trying out new stuff.

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