Paypal - are there other choices?

I had to unsubscribe from Paypal.
I wish there were some other choices. I really would like to subscribe.
I don’t know where else to post this.

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Due to PayPal’s recent debacle I had to cancel any subscriptions and quit them.
Would be happy to do another method to regularly support Ardour.


Please read the link to the FAQ above, which lays out the reasons why we use PayPal and what any other payment processor would need to offer to be useful/as useful.

Currently, to the best of my knowledge (and I do try to keep track of this because I too would like an alternative), there are no such other payment processors.

Perhaps there could be an alternative non-subscription payment system at least? For people who pay a one-off for the main release plus point updates (say $45), the amount of time before needing to pay manually again seems comfortable. The one-off system can also cater to one-off donations. I also quit PayPal and I’ll never go back.

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I would second this. I’m happy to contribute, but after Pay Pal’s recent behaviour I am not willing to trust the manics in charge of the company. I love your product and am happy to support it, but i’m not so enamoured of the product that I am willing to expose myself to the risk that goes along with using Paypal at this point.

I understand they are the only provider that fits the criteria you need them to fit, please understand they no longer fit my criteria for basic trustworthiness in business dealings.

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Fair enough.

But I would point out that at this point, I’ve been a PayPal user for more than 17 years, with hundreds of thousands of transactions, and not a single complaint about any of them other an occasional sigh. I receive more or less 100% of my income via PayPal, so if anyone needs to be concerned about their potential bad behavior, I’m absolutely in that category.

There has always been noise about PayPal’s behavior, and I don’t doubt that they have behaved egregiously in some instances. Is it better or worse than any other comparable financial services company? I don’t know, and I don’t know how to find out.

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They released a quickly back pedalled document saying they would fine users $2500 for propagating “bad think” and it would be at their sole discretion what qualified. I’ve used them for years as well but I don’t think they can be reasonably trusted at this point.

If you find some other way for us to donate I have no problem contributing. I know Paypal is convenient, but so was Patreon and I wont deal with them any longer either.

What are your specific requirements? It sounds like “low fees”, which is understandable. Something like Stripe wouldn’t do what you need? Or they lack a the recurring payment feature or something else is a problem?

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Here in Europe, Paypal is headquartered in Luxembourg and because of that, they claim that European laws don’t apply to them. For example, European laws state that whenever a web site installs cookies on your system, you have to be allowed to opt out of certain ones (e.g. marketing and advertising stuff). Paypal has spent years refusing to allow these opt-outs. I gave up using Ebay here because of its partnership with Paypal. At one time, anyone selling something on Ebay had to offer Paypal as one of their payment options - but even Ebay is distancing itself from Paypal these days.

  1. Global coverage. PayPal provides payment processing in the overwhelming majority of nations around the earth. Most US payment processors (Stripe, Square etc.) do not do this. Although the majority of the revenue for Ardour does come from north American and western Europe, it is important to me that people in other parts of the world have the opportunity to participate.

  2. Micro-payment compatible fees. PayPal has them … 5%+$0.09 or 5%+0.07EU. Given how many payments we receive for $1, where the standard fee structure would be more like 2.9-3.5% + 0.49, this represents a nearly 25% increase in net income per transaction.

One alternative would be to just dump the whole pay-what-you-want model and use higher “fixed” pricing. I’m not going to rule that out absolutely for the future - changes in payment processing options may force that. But it’s not something I’m willing to do (or even think about) at this time.

Have you heard about Liberapay? They are a french nonprofit that seems targeted to exactly your use case: Facilitating recurring donations to support software developement. They let me chose how to pay.
I’ve noticed that you can support some people via giro transfer (eg FalkTX and LibraZik) and others only if you pay via PayPal (eg Vladimir Sadovnikov) but I don’t know why it is like that. My giro transfers seem to be processed via stripe but at least I don’t have to sign a monopolist’s non-negotiable treaty but can chose between different banks, because I only need a bank account.

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Yes, they do take a rather large cut, and use paypal under the hood (Payment Processors - Liberapay)

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Liberapay were, the last time I looked, built on top of PayPal (and other payment processors). Patreon is the same, btw.

We cannot use payment systems where we don’t get notified of the completed payment. That rules out, for example, all current US bank-to-bank transfers, and several potential SEPA (Eurozone) APIs, which only allow post-facto information gathering about payments.

Oh, one other thing. “Facilitating recurring donations” is only a part of what drives revenue for Ardour. Although in general it’s better to have subscribers (“recurring donations”) to smooth out the revenue flow, a reasonable size chunk of the Ardour revenue comes from one-time payments, which are accompanied by the expectation that the payee gets a download link right thereafter.

I understand that. Thank you for your insights. What I don’t understand is why you do not provide any options besides paypal. If a subscriber wants or need the link NOW, she best uses paypal. If she doen’t like paypal and can live with a delay, why not use giro transfer.
Or maybe you might offer recurring transfers only via paypal but still provide choices for one-time-payments.

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giro transfer would require me to periodically (every day? twice a day? once a week?) check a bank account and then manually go to the website and mark a set of pending transactions as “complete”. I don’t know what the situation is in (say) Europe, but US banks (and credit unions, who I bank with) do not provide customer-facing ABI access.

What I don’t understand about the vitriol directed towards PayPal is that the fundamental players in the payment processing system (globally) are Visa and Mastercard, who have done all the bad things PayPal have done and more, and yet few people propose any alternatives to their hegemony (other then crypto currency, which I’m not going to get into).

Okay, this is a bit frustrating – in the end, the world is as it is which means that monopolies are the american way to set standards and we probably can only hope for the EU to force some interoperability upon them (which means there is not a lot of hope.)

But a good thing I have learned is that you Ardour devs are always looking out for alternatives and I really appreciate that. Thanks for patiently explaining. I still don’t like that “subscribe to paypal or use another DAW” thing, but at least it’s clearer to me now that you would provide other ways if there were any. Thanks.

About that Visa/Mastercard Question: This is just my experience but they are not as important here in Germany as Paypal is. I never encountered a situation where I needed a credit card to get something. On the other hand, without Paypal I can’t buy a lot of things, including Ardour.
Plus, it might simply be the case that in the last decades everyone got used to Visa and Mastercard being evil, and Paypal is relatively new.

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“Pragmatism, not idealism.”

Regarding the language that was temporarily inserted into their Acceptable Use Policy (and removed before it took effect), PayPal provided this statement:

“PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. Our teams have made appropriate updates to correct these inaccuracies and we apologize for any confusion this has caused.”

Reading between the lines of that statement could lead one towards the edge of a conspiracy theory rabbit hole, or it could lead one towards a benign explanation akin to a personal experience encountered at their own workplace. Where one lands on that spectrum of conjecture doesn’t matter at this point. It was a declared a mistake and deleted from existence, so retaliating against the idea of it after the matter has been resolved seems wasteful.

Those who feel their ideology is being assaulted by the pragmatic decisions of others are free to boycott the people, projects, and products who are associated with the offenses inflicted upon them, real or perceived. That is their right, just as it is the right of pragmatic decision makers to boycott ideologies that are unworkable and hinder success. Live and let live, to each his own, different strokes for different folks, and so on.

I too cancelled my Paypal account and re-subscribed naively thinking that the credit card option was an alternative having not paid too much attention to the page. Of course it was simply Paypal using the credit card option for it’s payment. It seems I’m now subscribed to Ardour with no means of accessing the subscription as Ardour instructs us to amend through Paypal where I no longer have an account. Will it simply default next time or will the money be taken by the same means ad infinitum. Rob

If your PayPal account is now closed, your card will not continue to be charged.