Paypal fee increase for Australians April 4, 2018 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Australian Paypal has informed us that as of April 5th, "sending money internationally to friends or family" will now incur a fixed fee of $5.99 AUD+2.6% of the portion funded +fixed fee based on the currency.

Is Metafilter accepting donations via Paypal as a transfer from friends or family? Because this will obviously eat up most if not all of a small donation to Metafilter made by through australian paypal. Or we'll get charged $12 for a $5 donation. The only other fee structure seems to be sending money to sellers, which is a small % fee. At least one aussie mefi has changed to Stripe, which I believe has worked.

Here are the new fee details: https://www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/ua/upcoming-policies-full

I'm not sure if this is happening in other countries. Surprisingly hard to google. But it's worth reading the small print on fee change info that Paypal sends.
posted by kjs4 to MetaFilter-Related at 8:18 AM (11 comments total)

Heya! I don't think this should affect us (or Australian MeFites); paypal contributions should be commercial "goods and services" transactions, not personal ones, which have a different fee structure that isn't as far as I can tell changing. (The usual domestic US transfer is about 2.9% + $0.30, which comes out to us seeing about $4.55 of a $5.00 US donation; for contributions form Australia as commercial transactions that'd be more like 4.4% + $0.40, so a slightly larger chunk but still the same basic idea.)

So: probably not a worry! But I appreciate the heads up, it's worth me keeping an eye on. And we continue to provide Stripe support for contributions as well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:23 AM on April 4, 2018


I was a bit of an idiot and posted this at almost midnight Perth time, so most Australian Mefites are currently asleep (I did use the contact form asking to have the post delayed, but not sure it went through, got a weird email saying it hadn't been delivered). Might affect other countries though.
posted by kjs4 at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2018


Glad to here!
posted by kjs4 at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2018


Weird! We haven't gotten your email in email yet, although (now that I go check) it is logged in the back end system we have. Maybe it's been delayed for whatever reason and we'll get it later. But thank you for letting us know - sorry we didn't see it before putting this thru.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:45 AM on April 4, 2018


I think I've started making my MeFi donations via Stripe but wow I had no idea this was going to happen.
posted by liquorice at 4:32 PM on April 4, 2018


Are Stripe fees better? I have a recurring donation set up with PayPal but I could switch it to Stripe if metafilter gets a bigger cut of my measly $5
posted by leahwrenn at 8:07 PM on April 4, 2018


In general their fees are pretty comparable; both companies are dependent on, or competing fees-wise with, the major credit processors and it's all reallllly down to small margins in that 3% + $0.30 range + extra slivers for international. So basically whichever works best for you is what you should go with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:50 PM on April 4, 2018


As far as I'm aware, this is affecting all countries with a PayPal presence other than the United States.

Some unscrupulous online merchants strongly encourage you to send money to them as a 'friends and family' payment rather than a standard PayPal payment when you buy something, which means you have no comeback if/when the goods aren't delivered. Perhaps this change is to discourage this behaviour.
posted by winterhill at 3:32 AM on April 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Just as an aside, as someone who gets an increasing proportion of their income via PayPal these days, I greatly prefer it when someone opts to pay me via Stripe and my website strongly signposts people towards Stripe payments.

I don't know if this is the case for MetaFilter, but PayPal has a propensity to put your money 'on hold' for random amounts of time (usually between 2-3 weeks) when people pay you, meaning you're quite often out significant amounts of money for weeks on end. I've got over a thousand pounds on hold right now, which I could *really* do with...
posted by winterhill at 4:55 AM on April 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don't know if this is the case for MetaFilter, but PayPal has a propensity to put your money 'on hold' for random amounts of time (usually between 2-3 weeks) when people pay you

For whatever reason (volume of payments, consistency of payments, length of our account existing in good standing, literally the random whims of a blind and incoherent god) we haven't had any trouble with that sort of thing for a few years from them, so it hasn't been a concern particularly, but, yeah, historically there were a couple frustrating bumps back in the day.

I like Stripe better in aspirational terms; PayPal is slightly less work because of the administrative load they take on for the backend stuff; we've got the process for both sorted out already and so I expect us to continue to support both in the long-term, though the online transaction services market is one of those things I wouldn't be surprised to see change significantly over the course of any five years so we'll see what happens when it happens.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:22 AM on April 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


I dug up the previous arrangement, 17-3 effective 27 October 2017. It has many complicated fee tables. This financial legalese has defeated me for tonight. I don't think it was possible for them to simplify the fee structure without raising the rates of some countries, but someone more capable could tell if they raised the rates for all countries.

It sort of seems like PayPal was undercutting Western Union for bank account to bank account transfers and also on credit card transfers (which have ~5% +/- penalty fees), and had headroom available to raise them while remaining competitive in comparison shopping engines.
posted by crysflame at 7:11 PM on April 11, 2018


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