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Why we do not support PayPal anymore

Back in early 2007, a few months after we started the DownloadHelper project, we wanted to implement a system to permit donations to the project. We looked around to see what solutions were available to process payments and PayPal was there, so we went for it. Over the years, the system has been working but suffered a number of flaws: multiple bugs in the management interface, lack of reactivity from support. Dozens of times, we talked about moving to an alternative solution. But you know, when you have a system with issues but which roughly does the job and on the other side, enough work to occupy 12 hours of your day, you do what is absolutely necessary. So we remained with PayPal.

In late October 2014, we received a mail from PayPal saying that "we were in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy", (not mentionning which point of this policy)", that our account was "limited" and there was no possible appeal to that decision. "Limited" at PayPal means that you cannot receive nor emit any payment, and they keep your money for 6 months. We also discovered that we were not able to contact their support to get details about this decision. We had to use a personal user account to be able to reach someone at PayPal support, and we were told that apparently, DownloadHelper were in violation with some copyright laws and there was no way to know which ones exactly.

Maybe the guy at PayPal who took the decision was overbusy or too lazzy to make a proper due diligence to see what service DownloadHelper was actually providing (remember that if DownloadHelper breaks any copyright law, pressing PrintScreen also does, so you'd better remove that key off your keyboard). The point was that the decision was made without asking information nor giving us chance to explain our case. No appeal.

If making a wrong decision in a big company is common and happens every day, suspending a partner business without warning nor explanation is highly unprofessional. But somehow, very consistent with PayPal's attitude we could see over the years.

Even worse: a couple of weeks after they suspended our business account, they also closed developers personal PayPal accounts, because there were "linked to one or more accounts not respecting PayPal's policy". So now, in many cases, we don't have a way to donate to the web projects we like since they often implement a single way to make payments, over PayPal. Well, we can't blame them, we have made the same mistake for years.

So, if you plan to do business online, think twice before considering PayPal. Keep in mind they can close your account without notice nor explanation. And if you still go with PayPal, never, ever, keep a significant amount of money on your account: they will block it when they will close your account.

So we moved on.

We looked around see what serious payment solutions were available, and appeared as being the way to go. Regarding technical integration, it's like day and night compared to PayPal: easy REST API, bug-free management tools, and the best of all: a true support (and they are even polite too !).

Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of security certification available in the payments industry. They're audited by the same firm that audits Google, Apple, and Amazon. DownloadHelper is using their Checkout product: that means that no sensitive payment information ever hits our server. Card numbers are directly transmitted over HTTPS to their server that encrypt them with AES 256.

Beyond this, Stripe is one of the most respected payment platforms in the world. You don't necessary know them because they are not a Consumer brand. Among others, they process payments for Facebook, Twitter and Apple, and have even been the only ones able to process payments for The Interview (resisting the potential attacks of Korean hackers, no breach was revealed). On the latter, please read this article, or this one.

Ten en cuenta que Paypal se ocupa completamente del pago. Stripe es la plataforma de pago más utilizada en la Red.

Nosotros (DownloadHelper) no tenemos acceso a ninguno de tus datos bancarios.