Lots of people are having issues with There using PayPal, and the fact that we “require” a verified PayPal account. Here’s some background on that:
- In the Old There, we used to store Credit Cards on secure servers and connected directly to a non-PayPal payment processor. To do this, we had to be “PCI Compliant”, which meant we had to meet all kinds of regulations to be “trusted” to keep people’s credit cards on file. Maintaining PCI compliance was expensive, and, there’s also the risk, no matter how secure you are, that the card data could be compromised (that never happened to us, BTW).
- In the New There, we decided NOT to hold people’s cards on file because we don’t have the money, or resources to maintain PCI compliance. In today’s world, there are lots of 3rd party payment processors who will do this for us, so we (like many other businesses) decided to let them do it while we focus on running a virtual world.
- We chose PayPal because (1) We’re already established with them, (2) We already had the code in place to work with PayPal, and (3) PayPal offered the ability to manage subscriptions payments for us. Thousands of other businesses also use PayPal, and many use it for subscriptions, so we didn’t think we’d made a horrible choice there.
- We use “Verified Accounts” because, to be honest, we had a problem with “ChargeBacks”. Chargebacks occur when someone reverses a charge on a card, a card used proves to be stolen or fraudulent, or the credit card company just won’t honor the card. We got chargebacks for any number of reasons: People under 18 running amok on their parent’s cards, people using stolen or fraudulent cards, T$ reseller scams, etc, etc. Each time we got a chargeback, PayPal gave us a “bad mark”, and charged us. Enough bad marks, and PayPal shuts you down as a merchant. To avoid this, we worked with PayPal, who suggested that turning on verified accounts (among other things) would reduce the chargeback rate (which it did). So we didn’t just decide to require verified accounts – we did it because it was a business necessity.
- We’ll never allow people to pay for subscriptions with a GameCard, or any other device someone under 18, or a griefer, could run down to the 7-11 and purchase. We may allow them for T$ purchases at some time.
- In the future, we will try and add other payment services, like, say “Stripe”, but that will take some time, and there’s no guarantee they won’t have the same requirements PayPal does. Processors like PayPal require these things to reduce chargeback rates and reduce fraud. So you may find you’re no happier with other services than the ones we have today.
I hope this explains how we got to where we are today. I am happy to report than >200 people have already subscribed successfully, with no problem, so we know it’s working for some people (perhaps even lots of people).