One may wonder the amount of power payment processors hold in business. And once a business wants to open online, it finds itself quickly stuck at a choice: abiding by PayPal’s rules, or risking to loose sales if customers prefer using this convenient payment method.
PayPal is an intermediary. Customers can “load” money on their account, link the PayPal account to their bank account to allow direct debit, or add their credit card to the PayPal account. PayPal handles everything behind the scene, forwarding payments from the bank through the SWIFT network (or SEPA in the Eurozone), or forwarding the orders through VISA / MasterCard / American Express / whatever-the-fuck-card network.
To make it clear: PayPal can be done without. Competition is plenty, among Google Wallet, Skrill, Dwolla, Stripe,.. … or simply the domestic bank payment gateway.
The rules of the ruler
PayPal dominates on the payment processor market. PayPal’s main revenue comes from transaction commissions. But while PayPal wants to make a profit, they also don’t want to get poked at by critics/governments. Thus, they set a large number of rules or “acceptable use policies” businesses must agree with, or PayPal may (and will) close down their accounts without warning.
This includes activities illegal in the USA (drug trafficking, prostitution, tax evasion,…), but also a bunch of things they generically list in their user agreement (like: buying cryptocurrency).
You won’t find the typical “Donate through PayPal” button on Onahole Review: their user agreement explicitly forbids using PayPal for “obscene” activity (and getting donations for a blog about sextoys and including pornographic material may be obscene).
But while PayPal gives some leeway to individuals like us, things look different for businesses.
PayPal, OtonaJP, and loli-themed products
Today, OtonaJP published the following statement about ceasing to accept payments through PayPal. This follows PayPal’s new contractual guidelines, forbidding the usage of PayPal for products featuring “loli, nudity, schoolgirl references”, and (notice how specific) “scaled down Dolls with small Bodies as reference to possible underage naked bodies”.
In short: almost everything in OtonaJP’s catalog falls into those categories.
Thus the logical choice of OtonaJP: they stop using PayPal. OtonaJP already has several other payment methods, they can accept card payments through JCB’s payment gateway, and even Bitcoin. They don’t depend on PayPal, and that’s a smart choice.
Some other shops were less careful about that.
Victims of PayPal
Over the 6 years of it’s existence, Onahole Review witnessed several downfalls of shops, suddenly frozen, painfully bleeding down, or closing down at the bat of an eye. Not so long ago things seemed shaky for Otona Sekai, possibly for very PayPal reasons. The exact events of MyOnahole‘s sinking are unclear, but we have clearly in mind the disappearance of NipponSexToys and the closure of the international division of NLS, both of which were direct results of PayPal crackdowns. One may wonder how many other shops got squeezed out of business by PayPal before even being able to build a brand in the market.
I am fed up with PayPal. They do mafia-like harassment towards businesses and play around with companies’ and people’s money as it sees fit in an inhuman algorithmic mess and specifically vague user agreement rules so they can wipe away anything that could even remotely bring them any trouble with anyone, anywhere, no matter that the business is perfectly legal and owns all required rights and licenses to operate. Even Amazon Marketplace is a better choice.
If your business sells sexual wellness products, stay the fuck away from PayPal.