PayPal is one of the most commonly used online payment methods in the world. At the same time, this company can force merchants to monitor user behavior or risk being cut off from the payment network. As a result, the Seafile project decided to drop PayPal due to their invasive requests.
Seafile & PayPal Split
Some people may have heard the name Seafile before, as this German company offers cloud services to its customers. Similar to most other online merchants, the company relied on PayPal to process card payments. But that business relationship has not worked out all too well, as PayPal has notified the company about some specific demands.
The traditional payment processor requested Seafile to keep logs about their customers’ files. Moreover, the company would have to make sure there is no illegal content hosted on their platform. But that is not all, as PayPal also want detailed statistics on the file types used on the Seafile platform. All of this information has nothing to do with processing payments by any means.
Granted, it is understandable PayPal does not want to serve companies dealing with illegal content. But in demanding this type of data, they are violating German and European data protection laws. Seafile politely declined to meet these requirements, which Prompted PayPal to make sure they stop accepting payments immediately. The company has done so, and as of June 19th, all mentions of PayPal have been removed from the Seafile website.
PayPal’s Bad Reputation Grows
It is not the first time PayPal is making a name for itself in such a negative way. Wikileaks, the infamous platform sharing sensitive documents and government information, has been bullied by this company as well. Although Wikileaks originally accepted PayPal payments, the payment processor locked their account out of the blue in 2010. Apparently, Wikileaks was in violation of the PayPal Terms of Service agreement.
All of these issues paint a worrisome picture for the future of online payments. Centralized institutions such as PayPal hold far too much power over their users. The company can freeze funds on a whim’s notice. Restoring account access can be a tedious process, requiring a lot of argumentation and documentation. Plus, PayPal can keep accounts locked for 180 days before restoring account access and can even renew the “lock” for another 180 days if they want to.
Bitcoin Always Works
While Seafile is looking for an alternative payment option, they may want to take a closer look at Bitcoin. With its global availability, low fees, and no central authority, it is a far better option than PayPal. Moreover, there are file sharing and cloud services accepting Bitcoin payments already. Sync, Cloudways, and Digital Ocean reseller Bithost are a few of the companies accepting Bitcoin payments.
With Bitcoin, there is no need to ask for permission. There will also be no one to ask what Seafile customers are up to, let alone block their payments. Companies should worry about their customers’ behavior, rather than payment processors. Bitcoin gives Seafile and other providers the freedom to do so and focus on what is important to them.
What are your thoughts on this invasive action by PayPal? Le tusk now in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Seafile, PayPal, Shutterstock