the good old paypal problem

I don’t want to reiterate discussions that have already happened. But I would (as a European) like to donate money to Ardour without Paypal handling the payment in any way. Since I do not require the benefits of being a subscriber I have been wondering whether there is one of the following two options.

  • Could I get some account details of a US bank account for me to transfer the money into from overseas? I would thereby pay for any fees, right?

  • Alternatively: What about a snailmail address, and I simply put a note into an envelope (and take the risk). Not the most elegant solution, but better than nothing, no?

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Wire transfers between the rest of the world and the US typically cost the sender on the order of $10-20, and they cost the receiver (me) $15 additionally. So unless you're planning to pay a lot, this is very wasteful. Massively more of a bank ripoff than anything PayPal has ever done.

My email address is on my resume, which is relatively easy to find from the credits page. Cash is quite welcome but I can't turn it into a normal payment - I'd rather be writing Ardour, not a payment system, and there isn't money to pay someone else to do the latter.

What about opening a bank account in EU? There are SEPA payments without fee or at very low cost about 0.50 EUR per transaction.

pedro: as a non-EU resident, this is far from trivial, so it would require finding someone I trust within the EU to do it in their name. Also, note that 0.50EU is significantly more than the PayPal cost per transaction, certainly for the many very small transactions that tend to occur with Ardour (the majority of people pay US$1 only). I pay about $0.25 for a $1 transaction when it goes via PayPal’s micropayment system.

paul: i was thinking about opening an account for you ;-). I’m czech citizen, there is cheap FIO bank with transparent accounts. Transparent accout - it!s normal account, but everyone can see all transactions on the net - Unfortunetly, every incoming transaction is charged by 20,- CZK. In Slovakia is FIO bank also. All incoming SEPA transactions in EUR are free - . Unfortunately, FIO Slovakia doesn!t provide transparent accounts.
In FIO.SK is charged only transaction from Slovakia to USA - in case of Euro payment, it!s 0.5%, min. 8, max 50 EUR. I!s in case OUR disposition (all fees will pay the sender). Transaction in US$ is charged 20 Eur. Complete price list is in available Slovak language only :-(.
Another problem are taxes. I!m not sure if i can receive thousands of Euro :wink: and then send them to USA, but if you!re interested in opening account in Slovakia, i can ask someone about taxes.

pedro: thanks for your thoughts. But there’s no way I can direct payments towards a person I don’t know. I hope you can understand this.

Another paypal-less European wanna-be-supporter, here…

What about using stripe [1]?

It has support for subscriptions [2] and apart from credit card payments also for Bitcoins [3]. It does not seem to support micropayments, though.

Bitcoins know no border and can e.g. be bought via a cheap SEPA transaction through fastcoin [4] by us Europeans.
Stripe will automatically make US$ out of the coins for you (there will be some fees I guess)


p.s. it seems no have a usable API, too

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Is this a situation where Paypal is banned or restricted in some way?, or is this the result of some personal / political stance (which it should be everyone’s right to exercise but… it’s unlikely Paypal will actually notice) and which may in fact achieve little more than cutting off the nose to spite the face?
To me it seems like it’s just a question of choice - which people are over complicating. Millions of people don’t have a problem with using Paypal - and could not the same - or similar - objections people may cite for not using Paypal but raised / invented in relation to any other form of money transfer?

Stripe and Bitcoin have been suggested before. I seem to remember Paul has looked at them and many other payment systems and they all have snags that make them unworkable, inconvenient or too expensive. For one thing, I believe Paypal is one of the few that lets you set up a regular subscription payment.

I’m not sure whether the thing with Germans and PayPal is personal prejudice or some practical problem with the German banking system. I see PayPal as a necessary evil, and try to use a UK based payment system (Nochex) where I can for online payments, but suspect they are no better, except they are cheaper.

Yes, I do have a moral problem with paypal. I also usually do get round without needing it. Germans do generally use it less, just like they do also not use credit cards a lot. Donating to Ardour is the first time in years that my policy has actually posed a hindrance to doing something (though I have now found a way - I just send Paul the money by post). Of course I do not think I can change Paypal by abstaining from it. Just like I do not change Microsoft or Google by not participating, or prevent climate change by not using a car. I just don’t want to be part of something, support something with my money and data, that I think is wrong. And I can do so, because so far it causes only a minor scratch on my nose.