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withdrawals outside the US, a.k.a. international payouts #126

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whit537 opened this Issue · 295 comments
@whit537
Owner

Balanced will work for withdrawals to U.S. bank accounts, but not outside the U.S. What do we do here? Suggestions?

Current Status

  1. MassPay—As a stop-gap while we await the chance to prioritize implementing a more robust solution, we are offering automatic weekly payouts via PayPal. This is risky because PayPal is likely to freeze our account once we get on their radar. If you'd like to participate, email support@gittip.com with your Gittip username, PayPal email address, and the first eight digits of the API key from your Gittip profile page (to confirm your account). PayPal's fee is 2%, capped at $20.
  2. Balanced—Our automated payments provider, Balanced, is working to implement international ACH transfers (IAT). Please see their roadmap and voice your interest on this ticket. Balanced is shutting down, see #3245.
  3. Stripe—They've added payouts (à la Balanced), and are known to be working on expanding to the EU. See #3245.
  4. Trans-Pay—The ball is in our court to improve our KYC practices (via #2449?) and circle back. See #417.
  5. MangoPay—They're a European counter-part to Balanced. We would need a European legal entity and bank account. See #891.

Want to Help?

Give us a PR for multi-currency support. That's a pre-requisite no matter which direction we go.

Want to back this issue? Post a bounty on it! We accept bounties via Bountysource.

@mitsuhiko

I'm starting to get the feeling the only real solution for international transfers is paypal. They however already burned open source projects in the past because paypal does not accept donations officially so it would make sense to get some clarification if paypal is acceptable for that.

@RafaelReinehr

I'm also from Brazil and want to clarify this question. The objective of this "neomecenate" tool is do help develop a series of projects dedicated do common good. I suggest paypal.

@whit537
Owner

Here's the Balanced ticket for this:

balanced/balanced-api#23

@jdnavarro

Bitcoin could be a solution for this. If you don't want to deal directly in bitcoins, there are some merchant gateways that do the currency exchange between bitcoins and different currencies in the same transference. I don't think all currencies are supported and I don't know how reliable they are. BitPay looks like the most popular one, but there are more services listed in the bitcoin wiki: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Shopping_Cart_Interfaces

@jezdez

Strip allows transfer to non-US accounts?

@VictorBjelkholm

@jezdez no, the company that receives the money need to be based in the US, although it accepts international payments. I supposed that it worked international but it didn't, sorry about that.

@softwaremechanic

I am all for the bitcoins idea. +1. Outside of it i don't really see any real solution. Paypal is one possibility, but not sure of their policies.

@VictorBjelkholm

Braintree(1) just expanded their list of supported countries. Might be worth checking up.

Supported countries:
the U.S., the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and Italy.

(1), https://www.braintreepayments.com/

@whit537
Owner

Stripe, Braintree, and BitPay are non-starters because we're talking about paying out to people, and afaik those are services for paying money in to a single merchant.

@whit537
Owner

@RafaelReinehr The "neomecenate" concept is intriguing. I wish my Italian were better. Google Translate doesn't do the best job either.

@whit537
Owner

@RafaelReinehr I'm reluctant to go down the PayPal route because I'm afraid of getting burned by opaque APIs and policies. As mentioned on #63, if someone with strong PayPal experience wants to champion the implementation then step forward and let's put together your pull request. Otherwise I'm going to prioritize other matters for now, and keep encouraging Balanced to strike some non-US deals. ;-)

@kangasbros

Bitcoin would be otherwise godd (unfreezable & fairly easy to convert to other currencies), but the problem is converting the monies from credit card payments to bitcoins. This should be done by gittip operator.

I would love to donate some money with Bitcoin to developers, is this kind of feature planned?

@BladeMcCool

Gittip should allow donations in Bitcoin. Use bitpay to handle that aspect. Let recipients choose if they want to keep their received donations in BTC or have it autoconverted to USD. If they keep it in BTC then you just forward them their BTC. If they convert to USD then you jump through legacy bank system hoops as usual.

@sebicas

+1 For Bitcoin

@RafaelReinehr

The majority of people i know that could "fund me" do not have bitcoins. But they have credit cards. It would be wonderful if gittip could manage this transaction from CC to bitcoin.

@colindean
Collaborator

Discussion about Bitcoin is best directed toward #14, where @gasteve, CTO of BitPay, has chimed in.

@maplesyrupghost

Bitcoin is definitely the most convenient, safest, and most logical method.

www.bitcointrading.com

@kangasbros

Honestly, bitcoin is not great for recurring payments. They are possible, not just that handy.

@jezdez

Maybe using Flattr as the infrastructure would be possible, https://twitter.com/gaiapunk/statuses/242536453140250624

@DanielWeigl

Also thumbs up for bitcoin. And if the CreditCard from BitInstant becomes reallity, it will be even really easy for non-Bitcoiners to accept Bitcoin, but spend them just like USD: http://bitcoinmagazine.net/bitinstants-debi-card-the-final-push-to-critical-mass/

@VictorBjelkholm

I would also love Bitcoins. And think of the people that doesn't use american dollars, add euroes in that case would be great.

@gasteve

Let me see if I can find one of our integration partners to take on this project. I personally have very little time available.

@whit537
Owner

Thanks, @gasteve! (I copied your comment to #14.)

@whit537
Owner

Recap So Far

Okay, so here's the state of the options as I see them, sorted from least work for Gittip to most:

  1. Balanced - We are already integrated with them, so the easiest solution from Gittip's pov would be for Balanced to add support for non-US bank accounts. @matin, @mahmoudimus, @jkwade: Do you have any advice for us?
  2. PayPal - See #63. Needs a champion.
  3. BitPay - See #14. Needs a champion. @gasteve is paying attention. Need to solve the recurring issue.
  4. Flattr - See #284. We've started a conversation with them. I'm not sure yet how Flattr's revenue sharing program would interface with Gittip's open company model.
@tito

BrainTree is now open for international payment too: https://www.braintreepayments.com/tour/international - Do you think that could be a possibility too ?

@kangasbros

Accepting the payments worldwide is not the problem (I think that already works), the payouts are... I think that the only good solution to working international payouts is Bitcoin. Converting credit card-billed money to bitcoin is probably huge pain in the ass, but could be possible with some delay (like 1 month).

Payments to countries like India, Pakistan or Iran are never going to work using traditional payment instruments due to strict regulations. I would love to get open source developers from those countries on board.

@softwaremechanic

@kangasbros: am in. python programmer From India. just went through your github account. any specific ones you're planning to merge with bittip?
Gotta warn, new to bittip bitcoin apis though...

@kangasbros

The problem is credit card fraud (credit card payments = reversible, bitcoin payments = irreversible). I'm going to research this problem some more time before I can propose a solution.

@softwaremechanic

@kangasbros : I haven't researched thoroughly, but my understanding is that it is the whole point of bitcoin's anonymity. i.e: irreversibility and anonymity go together ideally. So it's rather a question of what gittip is risk stance is willing to adopt for anonymity. I would be happy if gittip adds a disclaimer about irreversibility of bitcoin transaction and get ahead with it. but i don't know whether that makes business/economic sense for them, i can understand if it doesn't. Can someone from gittip chime in?

@kangasbros

anandjeyahar: the benefit is getting the payouts to anyone, anywhere in the world. Open source developers anywhere can benefit from the donations. Currently gittip payouts work (to my understanding) only in US and canada, not for example even in Europe. This severely limits the benefits for gittip. For example, I'm personally mostly interested in donating to developers in 3rd world countries, since there the developers need the money much more than the developers in developed countries.

On the payment side, I don't see much benefits, since recurring payments with bitcoin are problematic.

@paddykontschak

@kangasbros commented
Currently gittip payouts work (to my understanding) only in US and canada, not for example even in Europe.

gittip payouts work only in the US. Not in Canada, not in Europe and not anywhere else in the world.

@VictorBjelkholm

@kangasbros "On the payment side, I don't see much benefits, since recurring payments with bitcoin are problematic."

Maybe you could offer Bitcoin single donation and credit card recurring payment (and also single donation). With BrainTree the payments could be made anywhere with credit cards and the cash out with Bitcoins for everyone.

@kangasbros

And BTW, bitcoins point isn't Anonymity - it can be properly used anonymously, but that is not the "default mode" so to speak. To me, bitcoin point is unblockable, global, no-barrier-of-entry payment & payout processing. But yeah, anonymity is why it gets adopted later, and the other benefits will follow later.

@ianb

At Mozilla there was some research into this issue, with regards to the Mozilla Marketplace. Some of the issues are similar. One issue is that Mozilla didn't want to be an intermediary. That could mean in the US, for instance, that we'd have to submit 1099s for people who got a large enough payout. And who knows what it would be in other countries – paying people is fraught with local bureaucracy. PayPal made it possible for us to facilitate the transfer of money from a customer directly to the app developer. PayPal is still the one who actually "pays" the other person, and so they handle all the paperwork.

If you are curious, all the related code is in an open source repository (somewhere deep in https://github.com/mozilla/zamboni).

@maplesyrupghost

Bitcoin!

@lyndsysimon
@tj
tj commented

canada :(

@whit537
Owner

+1 for Bitcoin via HN.

@markvdb

Totally batshit mad idea:

A low tech solution could be a SEPA enabled EUR denominated account in an EU country. There are many 100% free ones, for both incoming and outgoing payments. Filter out the ones with interesting internet banking APIs.

Farm out the outgoing payments administration work to volunteers. Respect donor and receiver privacy by cleverly using hashing to prepare batches of outgoing electronic payments.

Tada: free outgoing gittip payments within the European Free Trade Area!

If this sounds mad, that's probably because it is. But maybe, just maybe, this actually is a viable mechanism!

@d2s

Not sure how viable it is, but SEPA payments could make things work for many inside EU area. Still, there are various problems that need to be solved (both legal and technical) to make it an option.

@cavebeat

I am from Europe, and i hope SEPA should still work. NON-US Euro User are not that small.
But i want also the possibility to use Bitcoin.
Connection with flattr would also be nice, to receive some amount of tips on flattr.

Paypal is the big player, but i don't like it very much.

@ironchefpython

Disclaimer: I am not recommending xe, as I know nothing about about them except people I know use it to gamble... er "trade" currency, and the have been around forever.

Why not use a currency trading service to move money? You avoid the massive cut that banks will take to convert currency (since currency traders compete on price), plus the actual transfer is free.

Looking at http://xe.com it appears ideal. We could turn US dollars into nearly any currency, and send disbursements for free to EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Plus we can wire the money almost anywhere in the world (for a fee).

Again, this is NOT an endorsement! I have not yet looked deeply at xe, and have no idea where the pitfalls will be.

@mrjoes

It is quite possible that Payoneer (http://payoneer.com) is one of the options. Anyone can get card for free and I'm pretty sure they have some kind of API to load funds to the card.

@skopp

While I like all these fancy and cool ideas (especially Stripe), I'm afraid in reality the most feasible option is PayPal (like them or not, they have a solid track record)

@sigmavirus24

@skopp their track record is also terrible in shutting down accounts arbitrarily.

@skopp

Well, @sigmavirus24 - I get your point (really I do - most big companies, and especially financial service providers, tend to stray. Sometimes often. At best, not that often). The world is real, not ideal, unfortunately. Realistically, I see them as the most stable of online payment mgmt account thingys. Bitcoin amuses me (I took it seriously at first, no more). So does Google Wallet with the NFC gimmickry. Not because they don't work, not at all. Because they don't nad will not work here (South Africa) and not for a long time to come. A Barclays owned SA bank, FNB, was sharp enough about 5 years back to invest in Paypal services.
We're talking global here, keep that in mind.

I'm open to options/suggestions on (in fact I dislike monopolies, so I actually am hoping for) solid alternatives.

@skopp

Just an aside too, @cavebeat ... I despise banks in general. And I'm being modest in my wording here.
Alas, I am not powerful enough to take the global Plutonomy on. The least I (and anyone else for that matter) can do to say phunc you to them is by not taking loans, overdrafts etc. and trying to capitalize interest on my money invested with them as close as possible to the rate at which they me.
But now I'm getting into socio-political economics. Just an aside, as I said.

@kangasbros

I actually find it quite surprising that someone finds Bitcoin "amusing" at this point. It is very a serious concept, with potentially very far-reaching socio-economical implications.

However, bitcoin doesn't work very well with the concept of gittip.com. Bitcoin works best for one-time transactions, not so well with recurring.

@kangasbros

"For the last year, Bitcoin has been kind of like the kid who moves to a new town right in the middle of high school. Sitting alone at lunch. Quiet, but proud. Widely suspected of dealing drugs. He doesn't have any friends and he's not sure he wants them.

Well, that's all over, because this week Bitcoin started hanging out with one of the most popular kids in school."

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/internet/wordpress-now-accepts-bitcoin

@skopp

@kangasbros yooo sorry guy, I used the wrong word, that's all - and only slightly off at that. I wasn't writing like it were my Nobel Prize acceptance speech draft.
Anyway, that wasn't even my point, in fact nowhere near the gist of my comment - whether I found [arbitrary service or commodity/currency] to be [arbitrary adjective]. Maybe I should write short phrases.

I don't see it working, especially not on the continent I happen to be on right now. That's all. It's not that I think Bitcoin is stupid, not at all. Amusing, yes - and c'mon, it's a very wacky idea. One a lot of people do think is stupid - just as I imagine many thought that "flying machines" were before the aviation age. I didn't say it can't work, I said I lost hope in it.

What was this whole thread about again?

@jezdez

This thread is about adding the ability to transfer money escrowed at Gittip to non-US bank accounts. FYI.

@whit537
Owner

@mrjoes Payoneer looks quite interesting, thank you. Do you (or anyone else on this thread) have experience with Payoneer?

I've submitted the inquiry form on Payoneer's website. I'm also going to invite @balanced to be part of that conversation.

@whit537
Owner

Looks like Payoneer is legit:

http://www.payoneer.com/payoneercards.aspx

I see oDesk, Elance, Rent-a-Coder, Veer, etc.

@whit537
Owner

@mitsuhiko @jezdez @visionmedia etc. How would you feel about Payoneer?

@mrjoes

I have Payoneer card for few years and successfully received funds from both oDesk and 2checkout. I never did business with them, so I have no idea how they work with partners.

They have some extra fees (4.6% for ATM withdrawal) + loading fee.

Payoneer is only option for most of the developing countries, as they mail physical MasterCard which is accepted by any ATM. Bank transfers require a lot of paperwork and other options are somewhat more expensive (Western Union).

@tj
tj commented

No clue, never heard of them :D

@weblance2

I have heard they are no longer legal in India and some freelance marketplaces are dropping them. Anyone know if this is true?

@whit537
Owner

@artagnon Have you ever heard of Payoneer? Can you comment on their status in India?

@artagnon

@whit537 I've never heard of Payoneer. CCAvenue is the largest payment gateway in India though- why not use them?

@matin

@whit537 Balanced's next step for international is IAT (balanced/balanced-api#44), which supports:

  • EU
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Singapore

Pre-paid cards may or may not come later. We're still working on making some improvements to bank transfers in the US, but I'll keep the GitHub issue updated as we progress.

@weblance2

whoohoo never too soon aye!

@mahmoudimus

@whit537 balanced's attempting to explore bitcoin - balanced/balanced-api#204.

Looking forward to discussing how this advances.

@bitpay

Someone just needs to take Bitcoin and start hacking up a solution to manage payouts...don't worry about volatility or exchange...it's the payout part of the problem that you should work on...and at any point in the process where someone needs to hold Bitcoins for any period of time, build in an assumption that there's a simple API that will let you hedge that balance against any currency (USD or otherwise). That API will exist in due time, but in the meantime, you can build the platform needed to receive Bitcoins and distribute them (people might even use it without the ability to hedge the balance).

@whit537
Owner

I heard back from Payoneer sales and have reticketed that as #396.

@matin Thanks for the update re: @balanced's strategy. Coverage of IAT is 80%, which is a big win if it's also low-hanging fruit.

Re: Bitcoin, let's discuss further on #310.

@sigmavirus24

@whit537 perhaps speak to Gumroad according to their FAQ they support international payouts. They might have some insight as well

@whit537
Owner

Status

@whit537
Owner

@sigmavirus24 I've reached out to @gumroad on Twitter.

@sigmavirus24

@whit537 good to hear. Can't wait to see how this resolves (even though I'm in the US) :P

@jkwade

@whit537 I know the CEO of Gumroad. I can see if I can get an intro.

@whit537
Owner

Thanks @jkwade! :)

@jkwade

Email sent. Told him to comment here or email @whit537 directly.

@whit537
Owner

!m @jkwade

@nraoTF

I run a business division which specializes in payments or "Withdrawals" is to NON-US bank accounts the correct coverage is is about 100 countries including Pakistan, India, Philippines. We have the ability to credit bank accounts with 24 hours. Jareau suggested me to join this discussion. Any thoughts?

@skopp
@weblance2

nraoTF how do we contact you to learn more?

@nraoTF
@nraoTF

Call me on 2125183876 EST

@nraoTF
@skopp

Trade: operate/work -- your process, business model - whatever you want to call it. Have you not even a "throwaway" email or GTalk/XMPP or can you create the like for calls?

Aside: I was using email earlier, hence didn't see that you're Gumroad... correct?

@skopp

@weblance2 just an FYI, you can @mention anyone and your message will reach them as a notify

@skopp

@bitpay if you can organize yourself or the right people to draw a peoposal, I can try the same, badaboom badabing. I'm no financial person (are they considered people?).

But I do know one or two private bankers, sure they'd be eager to take it on ESPECIALLY as an answer to PAyPAl's local presence

@nraoTF

@skopp - I already have this setup as a business and processing over 10 million transactions

@tonylampada

@nraoTF What's your company website?!

@nraoTF
@sigmavirus24

@tonylampada based on the phone number he has provided earlier in this: http://trans-pay.com/contactus.html is the website

@nraoTF
@nraoTF
@whit537
Owner

Former Status

For the record. See top for current.

@sigmavirus24

I think your 4th bullet point should be "but we can not wait that long" because really, I'd love to see @jezdez and @mitsuhiko get their payouts.

@whit537
Owner

Roger that, @sigmavirus24.

@whit537
Owner

Balanced will eventually have international payouts, but Gittip needs this yesterday. We need to decide between Trans-Pay (#417) and Payoneer (#396) and move forward.

Requirements

  1. At any time, a user can submit their bank account details on a form on the Gittip website.
  2. On Thursday, we issue an API call to our vendor to deposit money in bank accounts.

Trans-Pay (#417)

  • Primary business is global bank deposits.
  • Pricing:
    • Bank deposits in local currency in 90+ countries, priced per transaction (negotiated per-partner).
    • There is no integrated SWIFT fallback.
    • Exchange rate: "Best live rates- better then bank rates as we have our own treasury team in 3 different time zones."
  • White-label.
  • Recall possible in case of fraud?
  • API: SOAP
  • On-boarding: compliance paperwork, AML officer
  • Sandbox: Yes
  • Dashboard: Yes

Payoneer (#396)

  • Primary business is pre-paid debit cards. We just want the global bank deposits for now.
  • Pricing:
    • Local: Bank deposits in local currency in 52 countries for $2.99/ea., and $5.95 in India, Russia, and Brazil (per).
    • SWIFT: to remaining ~150 countries for $9.95 + random additional fees from intermediate and local banks.
    • US ACH: $5 setup + $3 per transaction.
    • All told they cover 212 countries and 29 currencies.
    • No setup fees for Local or SWIFT. No maintenance/time-based fees for any of the three bank options
    • Exchange rate of 2% above mid-market.
  • Not white-label. Gittip users would always visit Payoneer to set up their account. Details (via #396).
  • Short window to recall payment in case of fraud.
  • API is XML and querystrings over HTTPS.
  • On-boarding: due diligence paperwork, week or two turnaround
  • Sandbox: Yes
  • Dashboard: Yes
@mahmoudimus

$10 each -- wow!

We should have more to report as we work with TransPay.

@nraoTF
@Nissim-Payoneer

Major kudos for making this an open discussion. Some very interesting information here :)

@whit537
Owner

Yeah, this is weird and fun. Thanks for participating. :)

@nraoTF
@whit537
Owner

Here's a good introduction to the foreign exchange market:

http://www.currencysystem.com/kb/13-138

@whit537
Owner

[Background for HN: Gittip is a platform for sustainable crowd-funding. It's run as an open-source project. Gittip is looking for a vendor to handle payouts outside the U.S. The two we're considering are Trans-Pay and Payoneer. The conversation specific to each is on #417 and #396, respectively. Scroll up for backstory on the decision between the two.]

Here's what I'm seeing this decision come down to:

Primary Factors

Coverage

Trans-Pay: 42% coverage by number of countries (90 / 212). Surely the percentage of the global economy covered is much higher (think Germany vs. Tuvalu).

Payoneer: 100% coverage.

Price

Trans-Pay

  • fx: below mid-market (it's based on interbank rates)
  • per-transaction: to be negotiated

Payoneer

  • fx: 2% over mid-market
  • per-transaction:
    • $2.99 to 52 countries
    • $5.95 to India, Russia, and Brazil
    • $9.95+ to the remaining 157 countries
Time to Clear

Trans-Pay: 1-2 days

Payoneer: 1-2 days for Local, 1-7 days for SWIFT

Secondary Factors

Product

From a developer's point of view, I don't expect either product to be in the same class as Stripe or Balanced or other best-of-breed products in terms of API / sandbox / dashboard. Both are XML-based APIs and I don't expect to be delightfully surprised by the dashboards. Either will be good enough but I'm not seeing this as a deciding factor.

Support

Trans-Pay is hungry and Nagarajan is reachable by email and phone.

Payoneer has a fantastic customer support representative in Nissim.

Traction

Both companies have enough traction that I'm not concerned that either will disappear overnight (cf. Samurai, #58).

Analysis

This feels like a really close call to me.

I need to understand better the interplay between fx and per-transaction costs. Which factor dominates for Gittip's use cases?

If Trans-Pay's pricing turns out to be better, then we need to decide whether the loss in coverage is worth the trade-off. Presumably Gittip would punt on SWIFT integration to cover the long tail of the global economy until there was enough demand for it (we would need a @jezdez in Tuvalu to light another fire under our butt).

I'd really like to see the pricing info per country from Payoneer (I've asked for it on #396 and via email). I'd like to see the same from Trans-Pay. Ideally we could compare apples to apples in terms of both pricing and coverage in order to reach a final decision.

@whit537
Owner

From @jkwade on HN:

One dimension I think is missing from your analysis is time. How long will it take to get the payment to a recipient? If one vendor can get payments to recipients in 212 countries, but it takes two weeks, is that more valuable than a vendor that can get payments to recipients in 90 countries in 3 days?

@whit537
Owner

Good point, @jkwade. I added a note on Time to Clear to the above.

@weblance2

@whit537 thanks for that post, that was just too darn helpful! All stuff I knew but did not think about it as clearly until you put it like that!

@whit537
Owner

Nagarajan and I have amicably agreed via phone that Trans-Pay is not the best partner for Gittip at this time, given Gittip's scale and need to move quickly and Trans-Pay's present capabilities and priorities. Looks like we'll be moving forward with Payoneer! Thanks to both @nraoTF and @Nissim-Payoneer for engaging the conversation so openly and transparently. That in itself is a remarkable achievement and something to be proud of, in my view.

@whit537
Owner

Next steps:

  • Write Terms of Service
  • Submit application to Payoneer
  • Work with Payoneer until approved and set up (1+ weeks)
  • Add "Connect a Payoneer account" to Gittip
@nraoTF
@whit537
Owner

Former Status

For the record. See top for current.

  • Trans-Pay offers next-day local-currency bank deposits in 90+ countries (#417).
  • Payoneer offers next-day local-currency bank deposits in 50+ countries for $3-10 (#396).
  • Gittip's ideal would be for Balanced to solve this and we run everything through them.
  • But we can't wait that long! @jezdez and @mitsuhiko must get paid! :euro:
  • Bitcoin is in Gittip's future (#14, #310). 2013?
  • Here's Wikipedia's list of online payment providers.
@weblance2

@whit537 Thanks for your updates, I am following closely and it is super helpful. Is it possible to add further detail on how trans-pay was not aligned with your needs, or what your needs are, and what you mean by moving quickly..? I am curious to know if you hit on a point that I missed for my own needs.

@weblance2

@Nissim-Payoneer - Payoneer would be interesting but I have sent 2 emails requesting a sales contact and 2 phone request for the same but no one seems interested in contacting me back. I am beginning to feel like they don't want my business. I went through this with them a few months ago as well which is why I did don't proceed at that time.Oh yea, I also filled out an application but never heard back from them. Strangeness...

@bonq

Payoneer said a blunt "No" to us at Flattr as "Your business model does not fit" After several emails and forms filled, never responded to why we do not fit. So I would agree with former poster.

Don't really see how our model differs from Gittip though.

Maybe Trans-pay is of another mind, will check.

@weblance2

@bonq So far Trans-pay has been flexible. I am just now waiting for the approval from their 'approval group' which is taking a bit longer than I hoped. However, we got hit by the holidays so its difficult to gauge. Nagarajan Rao is who you want to talk to there and he is very eager to solve problems and get the job done. A rare thing in financial services. I recommend you call him, he will for sure respond quickly and try his best to find solutions.

@bonq

Great will try and reach out. Do you have a point of contact?

@Nissim-Payoneer

@weblance2 Can you please send me your contact information? I'd be happy to follow up with our sales team and check the status of your partner application. You can reach me at nissimal@payoneer.com

@bonq

Dropped you an email.

@tabo

As a peruvian receiving money from the US for several years (telecommuting to US companies), I'd like to mention that the best way I found to receive money is to open a US bank account. This can be easily done by traveling to the US and entering a branch office (you just need an ID like a passport), but can also be done remotely.

To open an account remotely with Wachovia/Wells Fargo, I made a phone call to order the paperwork, and went to the US Embassy to notarize a copy of my ID. I mailed everything back to them and a couple of weeks later I had a visa debit card that I can use to withdraw money in any ATM. By using Scotia Bank ATMs it costs me $5 to withdraw $500, so 1% which is acceptable.

@whit537 whit537 was assigned
@colindean
Collaborator

@whit537's comment on #481 indicates that Payoneer fell through. See that issue for more information.

@whit537
Owner

Yes, Payoneer fell through:

The reason that we weren’t given the go is that Payoneer supports company payouts and is licensed only to do payouts. Your business model was more complicated in that respect but over these past months I thought we could still push it through. As a company we need to make sure that the original source of funds comes from a company and not from individuals and the bottom line here is that all money is from private funding, something that we cannot regulate.

I circled around with @nraoTF from Trans-Pay, and the word from him is that we need to demonstrate sufficient transaction volume to justify the cost of the up-front compliance work on their end. He cited a figure of 2,000 transactions per month, and stated that if a few companies approached him as a group with an aggregate transaction volume in that range then he could work us through compliance in a batch (though we'd each be considered independently, of course). If you would like to be a part of that, please get in touch.

Until we're big enough to interest Trans-Pay, we can do manual payouts using PayPal. I've already done this for some individuals and at our present scale this is our best option. Please don't wait to use Gittip, as we need transaction volume in order to interest vendors such as Trans-Pay.

Balanced is working on a solution as well, which we would benefit from. Please voice your interest over on this ticket.

tl;dr The story right now is: manual PayPal payments until we're big enough for Trans-Pay or Balanced comes through.

@markvdb
@whit537 whit537 referenced this issue from a commit
@whit537 whit537 Update FAQs re: #126
Now that we're officially stalled on #126, we need to just make the best
of our current situation. Manual payouts with PayPal are fine for now.
23c1a1f
@untitaker

Some payment methods that haven't been mentioned so far:

  • https://checkout.google.com/ -- Used by the Google Play Store. Never used
    it, but i know people who used it successfully.

  • https://payments.amazon.com/ -- No idea.

  • https://www.paysafecard.com/ -- An anonymous payment service that seems to
    be popular in Mid-Europe. You fill up your account with gift cards, which
    you can buy e.g. at gas stations, at least here in Austria. I personally have
    never used it, but many friends of mine use it to pay for PC games and
    other online services.

@abnor

google wallet is an interesting payment method.

paypal is always going to be my primary suggestion though, of course :]

@untitaker

@abnor I think PayPal could be used for areas that can't be covered by other payment methods, but it's not a good idea to really rely on it.

@whit537
Owner
  • Amazon Last I checked this was U.S.-only. Has that changed?
  • PaySafeCard—This looks like a way to payin, yes? We need to payout.
  • Google Checkout and PayPal—We don't really fit their terms of service, afaict. They're for more direct scenarios, not for marketplaces like us.
@abnor

I've got an appointment with a Paypal "SENIOR MANAGER, NORTH AMERICAN PARTNERSHIPS" dude on Friday morning~ I'll practice spilling the details and testing my knowledge here. Feel free to add to or correct my script!

"...talking, talking, so Gittip is a philanthropic website that aims to pool generous and selfless individuals and to direct support to individuals who take on pro bono projects. The payments are processed through a third party and the givers and receivers have to connect their credit card or bank account. However, not everybody has a card or bank and so we are missing out on a large amount of internet and international individuals. We know many of them use Paypal on a regular basis, so we figured perhaps we could also implement Paypal as a third party payment processor."

Details:

  • Payments: The 'givers' can send as low as a quarter and as high as $24 to support other individuals. The transactions occur every week on Thursday.
  • Demographics: The current audience is open source programmers, many of whom use Paypal regularly.
  • Software: Gittip's stack includes HTML, Python, JSON, SQL, , _

https://www.gittip.com/about/

@abnor

Paypal -> Closed #63

Google Wallet -> Email sent #187

Bitcoin -> Email sent #14

@davidovitch

I've noticed that SEPA for the EU has been mentioned briefly before. I would like to point out a possible player in this field: https://gocardless.com/. Originally UK only, but they are expanding into the SEPA domain as we speak (https://gocardless.com/blog/sepa-direct-debit-explained/). Currently, beta invites only (https://gocardless.com/europe). What is interesting here is that they also offer recurring payment requests. Transaction pricing (March 10, 2013) is 1% (with a £2 maximum).

API: quoting from the FAQ page: https://gocardless.com/help
We have client libraries for Ruby, PHP, Java, Python and .NET. If you need any help with these, just drop by our Campfire chat room for details. Using a different language? No problem - our standards-compliant REST API can be used with just about any programming language.

Just to be clear, I have no interest in gocardless, just want to raise awareness of possible EU options.

@skopp

I came across WePay and I don't know if they're a potential service vendor or (pre)existing competitor, but thought I'd share here whatever the case

@jkwade
@binarykitchen

+1 good discussion

just a tip ... has anyone ever researched https://www.moneybookers.com and taken it into consideration here?

@bjorn

@binarykitchen That's issue #718, though there's not much information there.

@davidovitch

I did some research on Skrill (moneybookers) and posted my findings in issue 718

@binarykitchen

thx ... i see, moneybookers is too EU focussed and their fees are pretty high.

this list here shows alternatives to paypal but i think you guys have already checked them out http://alternativeto.net/software/paypal/

@mattwynne

Please don't wait to use Gittip, as we need transaction volume in order to interest vendors such as Trans-Pay.

@whit537 I want to help, and get paid :)

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few hundred dollars in my gittip account today, but I'm based in the UK. How do I organise a manual paypal payment?

@davidovitch

thx ... i see, moneybookers is too EU focussed and their fees are pretty high.

I don't think that is entirely correct: they have very similar rates compared to Balanced. You can not sent money to US bank accounts for the moment, but to 200 other places around the globe you can (including EU, UK, China, Brazil). Balanced offers US only withdrawals (same for Dwolla and others) so that's exclusive US. I think this could be a very good addition (provided some technicalities can be solved) so that non US residents can also be given their Git tips. See issue #718 for more details.

@whit537
Owner

@mattwynne First, connect your Twitter account to your Gittip account (sign in to Gittip, then on your profile page look under "Connected Accounts"). Then hit me up on Twitter (@whit537, I followed you so you can dm if you want) with the email address you use for PayPal. That's the best way to verify the money is going to the right place. :)

@NoelDavies

Stripe and Paymill now support UK transactions.

@abnor

Here's Wikipedia's list of online payment providers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_on-line_payment_service_providers)

Extremely helpful for list making purposes. Has it been completely sifted through yet? Would we rather pressure Balanced to hurry up and do international business? :P

@d2s

Possible problem with many of the payment gateways is that there are market-specific regulations and laws that limit how they can work on different areas of world. It takes time and effort to "localize" things. So… in a sense, there aren't that many alternatives that could offer world-wide transfers that easily.

Not sure, but it probably could be more suitable to select two relatively usable options that would cover different areas widely enough instead of trying to find "one ring to rule them all". Of course there are issues of having to develop integrations to different gateways but at least some of them have toolkits to help in the process.

@abnor

Not sure, but it probably could be more suitable to select two relatively usable options that would cover different areas widely enough instead of trying to find "one ring to rule them all".

Sounds like a plan. I suppose Europe is highly desirable, and perhaps another one that covers the majority of the rest of the world? (That last one sounds really hard.)

I can see that there are plenty of companies that will provide for industrial nations, and yeah we ought to cash in on that. Remote or developing areas would still probably be paid out through paypal, or whatever weird pay Chad is doing it.

@rateldajer

I don't know anything about this but scanning through the comments I don't see any mention of more traditional money transfer mechanisms like Western Union. Perhaps there is some obvious reason this is unworkable but thought I'd throw it in there.

@d2s

@rateldajer Western Union is not that great option since they take quite large cut of the transferred amount. That could still be one option for some people who happen to live at more distant countries, but still not a perfect choice for most.

@bbinet

I recently heard of http://www.mangopay.com/
Have you already considered mangopay?

@whit537
Owner

Interesting, thanks @bbinet! On first glance they look like a European Balanced. I've filled out their contact form.

@untitaker

I dug into Amazon Payments further and found out that the "Simple Pay" thing is limited to US-based businesses, not customers. But on the other hand this only allows pay-in, as the name suggests, so it's not suitable for withdrawals.

Unfortunately i mostly come across pay-in services, as it is pretty uncommon for a business to pay its customers.

@untitaker

Ah, it does seem like Amazon Payments supports pay-outs, it's just kinda hidden: https://payments.amazon.com/sdui/sdui/personal/money

@nraoTF
@tonylampada tonylampada referenced this issue in freedomsponsors/www.freedomsponsors.org
Closed

Investigate Stripe and Bitcoin #10

@whit537
Owner

+1 from @brianjjackson via Hangout:

http://youtu.be/_Pn9TqF9v1o

@jonathan-s

Hi,
There is a startup which is working on the issue of transferring money internationally. They are called Transferwise It seems like a model that could work for gittip.

@binarykitchen

Transferwise looks great but supports few countries only.

@thedrow

I'm from Israel & I'd really like to use the service.

@jlsjonas

another option would be to start accepting/using bitcoins as a payout method

@whit537
Owner

@jlsjonas See #14 and #310 for bitcoin.

@rottingcorpse

+1 for Payoneer. In some ex-USSR countries wire transfers are prohibited for non-companies, so most of people would just use Payoneer's debit card to pay for things online :)

@felipenmoura

I do believe Paypal is your solution here!

@rottingcorpse

Not a panacea. For example, Belarus not even in PayPal's country list :) Neither it will work with Belarus.

@Jamesking56

@whit537 Stripe.com (as mentioned above) is now doing a Beta for withdrawals to the UK and Ireland... Might be an idea to ask about that?

@whit537
Owner

@Jamesking56 Link? I was aware that they launched payouts and that they are in beta in the UK for payins. I'm not finding that they're in beta for UK payouts however.

@Jamesking56
@Jamesking56
@nblackburn

I would also recommend something like Stripe as their service as been by far the best from all of the services i have tried and can confirm as a customer of them, also living in the UK that it is indeed possible to pay people with the service though their API.

@colindean
Collaborator

@nblackburn We've had an open item to retire Stripe (#173) for a while. I don't think we use them any more at all, though...

@bruceadams

@nblackburn The core problem is #67. Stripe asked Gittip to leave; we don't fit within Stripe's terms of service.

Also, a related Gittip blog post: http://blog.gittip.com/post/28351995405/open-partnerships

@whit537
Owner

@bruceadams Stripe has since released a product that is parallel to Balanced, and that's what @nblackburn is referring to:

https://stripe.com/docs/tutorials/sending-transfers

Looks like Braintree has also come out with a marketplace product (per @rach on Twitter):

https://www.braintreepayments.com/marketplace

@dominictarr

Idea: what if instead of using a push model, what if the user just set up some sort of merchant account, on something that worked for them in their locality, and then gittip "purchased" from them. A pull model instead.

@skopp

I came across this: http://ithemes.com/exchange-payment-gateway-comparison-chart/ - just thought I'd share it. It's a comparison chart of some popular gateways. I thought it was relevant in that it includes their support for non-US banks.

Note: I am NOT endorsing iThemes or any of the guys in the chart; sorry for the link - I would have clipped the chart as an image and embedded via markdown syntax here (with src cited of course) but I'm posting this from a phone

@skopp

@whit537. Keep in mind that Stripe do not supportpayments outside N America as of current. They kept sending me mails: "sign up! Sign up!" So... I go to sign up and... 'Sorry, we don't support your location".

That was. Last week. I received another "sign up!" Mail today.
Sorry about the typos - it's my phone's fault

@tezpur4u

For India i have found (www.payupaisa.com - Get Free Payment Gateway‎) hope this help

@whit537
Owner

I asked @Stripe on Twitter for their current status: "Not currently but it's something we're looking to add down the line!"

@whit537
Owner

I got a follow-up email from someone at Stripe who saw my tweet. I explained that I couldn't have a conversation in private, and invited them here.

@balupton

I explained that I couldn't have a conversation in private, and invited them here.

How'd that go? Curious to learn how you achieve as many public conversations as possible.

@balupton

Couldn't we implement paypal now, then continue the discussion for something better? As something is better than nothing right? I'm an international user who would like to start making withdrawals.

@mvdkleijn

My guess is we could but many people don't like touching the PayPal APIs... :smile: Honestly I think from the talk in #891 that EU based payouts could be quite close if the UK limited idea pans out.

@bruceadams

@balupton We have Paypal now. It is a manual process (described in the FAQ and discussed above). Please contact @whit537 to make it happen.

@whit537
Owner

@balupton Here's how it went:

me: Thanks for getting in touch. Yes, this is for Gittip. I can't have this conversation privately, though. If you'd like to, you're welcome to weigh in on #126.

Thanks! :-)

them: Cool, thanks for the context. We're not quite ready to talk about our international payouts roadmap publicly yet, but I've made a note to weigh in on the issue when we are.

me: Thanks! :-)

@Tomas-M

I do not know if Gittip is using mass-payments to send payments using PayPal, but if you don't then I would like to suggest that. The fees are much lower if payments are sent by mass-payments option. You still need to send mass payments manually, however you do that by uploading a single file to PayPal (which contains the list of receivers and the amounts), no need to manually send money to each user separately. So if you're not using mass payments yet, give it a shot! :) Feel free to ask me if you need more info.

@mvdkleijn

I'd prefer we'd concentrate on the whole MangoPay thing since my feeling is we're very close to having bank payouts. At least for the EU.

@rummik
Collaborator

@Tomas-M If they accept CSVs, that would probably be a simple solution for now. Still manual, but at least it's something.

@nraoTF
@whit537
Owner

Good suggestion, @Tomas-M, at least for the short term. Noted on #943.

@whit537
Owner

Just had a call with @nraoTF. Details on #417.

@mvdkleijn

@whit537 I'd like to voice a concern, what with us being open and all... I don't trust TransPay... Don't ask me why, but during the original exchange of ideas with TransPay, all of my internal alarm bells went off and my gut instinct says don't. This time round it doesn't feel much better. There, I said it. :smile:

At the same time I'm increasingly concerned around the total lack of updates around the MangoPay option (#891) and the UK limited idea (#1379) which have had zero updates after you said you'd give them a call. I thought the whole MangoPay route seemed a very good option and possibly close to becoming reality. So I'm not surewhy this option isn't being pursued with more vigor / at the very least being updated to list potential pitfalls / issues.

@whit537
Owner

@mvdkleijn I've only got a small window to place that call (because of the timezone difference), and I haven't made it happen yet. Sorry.

@Tomas-M

Suggestion: If you really wish to support sending payments to users in countries where Paypal is not allowed, check out payoneer.com and paxum.com. Those two offer PREPAID debit card, and you can withdraw the money from ATM in all countries.

@mvdkleijn

Hmm... for me, a prepaid debit card would not be acceptable for various reasons. Guess I'll have to wait for @gittip to implement free SEPA transfers using MangoPay or a similar provider.

@Tomas-M

Just for the record, would you please mention some of your reasons? Can't think of any.

@mvdkleijn

@Tomas-M

  • SEPA transfers (i.e. in the EU) are free, debit card withdrawals aren't. (at least not here, as far as I'm aware)
  • I'd not like to have yet another card.
  • I'd not like to have yet another account / registration somewhere.
  • People over here aren't accustomed to debit cards as issued by the likes of Mastercard. (we use just plain old bank issued cards, heck we barely use credit cards)
  • I don't like having my money spread out over various sources / accounts
  • etc. etc.

These might not be important reasons to you, but I'm not you. :wink:

@Tomas-M

OK OK. I thought your reasons are a technical reasons, or legal reasons, while they are just a matter of your personal preference.

@mvdkleijn

Jup, no tech reasons. I just don't care for them. I like my payment flows to be easy, not overly complicated. If I had to choose between prepaid debit cards and paypal, I'd go with paypal. (sadly) What I'd love is if Gittip gave me the same option it gives its US users, direct bank account deposits. But I'm already very much on record for that preference.

@zwn

That's funny. I am in the EU and SEPA transfer costs me 1Eur, banks issue only Visa or Mastercard (both debit and credit) and some debit card withdrawals can be free but that depends on the bank/card/program. In addition charging my debit card requires SMS authorization so no one can charge me anything without my direct approval - I haven't tried attaching it to gittip yet.

But I would also prefer direct bank account deposits.

@mvdkleijn

@zwn I'm in the Netherlands, I've not been charged for SEPA transfers in the recent past. Banks issue their own cards and credit cards. Mastercard/Visa debit cards are next to unheard of. Mastercard/visa withdrawals are charged a hefty fee. Normal bank cards are free.

@whit537
Owner

@Tomas-M Re: Payoneer, see #396 and #481.

@nraoTF
@mvdkleijn

I guess from this email exchange and talk about paperwork that there was some sort of decision reached @whit537 ?

@whit537
Owner

@mvdkleijn @nraoTF Let's move to #417.

@whit537
Owner

+1 for Russia from @alekcac via support@gittip.com.

@whit537
Owner
@patcon

+1 for Canada

@whit537
Owner

+1 from Chris G. from Canada via support@gittip.com.

@fgilliswebber

Is an automated PayPal still on the table? For South Africa, this would probably be the best option. I'd be happy to champion this if you still need somebody.

@whit537
Owner

Is an automated PayPal still on the table?

@fgilliswebber Not really. They're notorious for freezing funds, and they've already said they won't underwrite us (#63 (comment)). Gittip would need much more clout to negotiate with PayPal.

@case

Fwiw, I've heard good things about Adyen.

@vsespb

Paypal currently denies donations in Russia.
Proof: There is no. Except this my blog post http://habrahabr.ru/post/200404/ (Russian text) Paypal support explained to me (I asked several times) that I (and no one else) cannot receive donations money (including Flattr). The only proof you can get is probably official answer from paypal.

@djc

I saw this tweet:

https://twitter.com/pornelski/status/401328269884018688

So why's there no activity on this issue?

@MikeFair
@whit537
Owner

From @patrickd- (src):

Unfortunately paypal is no good for receiving donations due to a limitation on how much money you can receive per-year and some Germany-specific taxation and money laundering laws. I've heard of enough cases where accounts were closed and money was lost because they were receiving money from "unknown" sources without having a paypal business account (which you only get if you are registered as self-employed and got a taxation-identification).

@whit537
Owner

So why's there no activity on this issue?

@djc: I've updated the first item in the list in the description of this ticket. Here's what it said before:

  1. Manual Payouts—At our present scale we are able to handle payouts to non-U.S. accounts manually using PayPal or Coinbase. This is real and exists today and the more people we have at this level the better viability we can demonstrate to incentivize the next two options. Please don't wait to use Gittip! :-)
@zwn

I've asked in my bank under what conditions can foreign entity get a bank account. The response is that in general it is possible when some documents are supplied (depends on what is available) and it needs to be approved by the legal department of the bank.

So, would a bank account for Gittip LLC in an EU country move this forward somehow? I'd like to say that this bank account is free of charge and also transactions within Czech Republic are free of charge.

@whit537
Owner

Thanks @zwn, copying your comment to #891.

@abishekrsrikaanth

Have you looked @ spreedly.com for this?

@patcon

Regardless of this issue, spreedly seems to be tackling a payment space feature in a very unixy fashion :) I like it. Thanks for sharing.

@zwn

Does it actually support payments or is it just a way to integrate existing payment processors? It seems you need gateway (such as balanced) and the gateway needs to work in the destination country.

@Progi1984

+1 from France

@zwn

Responding to my own comment above.

The bank I've talked to (http://www.fio.cz/) provides an API to access the accounts it manages. Using this API it is possible to get a list of incoming transactions which can be used to support pre-paying accounts #113 and it also provides an equivalent to paypal mass pay system where you upload the transactions using the API and later authorize it using the web interface. I am using the transaction list on one of my sites and can confirm it works.

It currently charges 2 EUR for outgoing transaction and 1 EUR for incoming (done using TARGET2). During the spring 2014 they plan to implement SEPA, which should further decrease the costs of euro transfers. So cost wise it could make sense to use for payments above 100 EUR (I believe the paypal fee is 2%?). It could also be a backup solution for the time when paypal freezes the gittip account. But it would require gittip to store bank account numbers and I am not sure what regulations apply in such a case. But is it any different than storing balanced uri or paypal email?

@bruceadams

Also, @dnaeon asks "How about Skrill (Moneybookers)?"

@jslegers

At this point in time, are there any options that allow me (living in Belgium) to receive payments on Gittip from people who want to sponsor my open source work?

If so, what exactly are the proper procedures?

If not, any idea when I can expect such options?

It's all a bit unclear to me now what I can and cannot do with Gittip.

@bruceadams

@jslegers The currently available mechanisms are described on the FAQ page https://www.gittip.com/about/faq.html

How do I withdraw funds from Gittip?

There are three ways to withdraw funds from Gittip:
  1. Connect a bank account. Funds will be deposited every Friday (no fee; U.S.-only).
  2. Contact us to set up a weekly PayPal payout (2% fee, capped at $20).
  3. Contact us to request a one-time bitcoin payout (1% + 15¢ fee).
@jslegers

@bruceadams :

Contact us isn't exactly informative. Neither is the page I end up at when I click the link.

It provides me the following contact info :

Gittip, LLC
716 Park Road
Ambridge, PA 15003
USA

Email: support@gittip.com
Twitter: @Gittip
Facebook: Gittip
Freenode: #gittip
GitHub: gittip Chad Whitacre, Founder
Twitter: @whit537

Should I tweet @Gittip? Should I tweet @whit537? Should I send a mail to support@gittip.com? Should I send a letter to 716 Park Road, Ambridge, USA? Or should I perhaps send a to mail to chad's personal email chad@zetaweb.com?

Also, does that mean PayPal currently is the only option for weekly payments? How exactly does the one-time Bitcoin payment work? Would I need to contact Gittip for every one-time Bitcoin payment or only to set it up the first time? Do I need an account on Coinbase or another online wallet system? Can others see on my profile whether I have there's a PayPal, Coinbase or other account associated to my Gittip account? What information do you need me to provide you to be able to link my Gittip account to my PayPal account? etc.

I understand you have difficulties setting up a reliable payment system for your European members, but one year after this issue was first logged I expect a bit more information than Contact us on how to link my Gittip account with my PayPal account. One year after this issue was first logged, I expect a more efficient and structured way to set up something as essential as a way to receive payments. Heck, even a Send a mail to xxx@xxx with subject yyy or a basic contact form would a lot more efficient than Contact us... which to me sounds like the equivalent of this:

Send your query to a random Gittip employee and prepare yourself for a
series of inefficient ping-pong mails with several folks at Gittip who really
can't help you further and are equally frustrated with having their time
wasted forwarding your question to someone else.

I can't say all this makes me confident about using Gittip in the future.

@clone1018
Collaborator

You would get support from any contact method you listed, especially the hand written letter to Ambridge.

@zwn
zwn commented

Email support@gittip.com. Paypal is recuring, bitcoin is one time (need to contact again for another payout). Sorry about not being more helpful.

@seanlinsley
Collaborator

@jslegers the Gittip team is so small, it's hard to contact someone who isn't able to help you.

@whit537 whit537 referenced this issue from a commit
@whit537 whit537 Point people straight to email for payins/outs
We heard from a user on #126 about the confusing flow for configuring
PayPal or requesting bitcoin payins/outs. This addresses the issue by
pointing directly to email as the preferred support method for these
requests, rather than linking to the general "Contact us" info.
3768fc8
@whit537
Owner

@jslegers Sorry for the frustration. :-(

I've started a PR at #1866 with hopefully a quick win. Can we pick up the conversation over there?

@whit537
Owner

@jslegers We've gone ahead and deployed #1866, which changes the "Contact us" link on the FAQ to "Email us," with a prepopulated subject line. Hopefully that moves us in the right direction?

@dominictarr dominictarr referenced this issue in dominictarr/feedopensource
Open

I would fund this if it wasn't bitcoins #6

@zwn

Should we name this issue "International Payouts"? See https://botbot.me/freenode/gittip/msg/10970854/

@whit537
Owner

@zwn Done. I was actually getting ready to close this ticket, since we do support international payouts now, via PayPal and bitcoin.

@zwn

@whit537 Right now we say at https://www.gittip.com/about/:

We're working on automated payouts outside the U.S. Right now they're handled manually—contact us as needed—with postage and/or fees charged at cost.

I don't think having undercover paypal account is the solution to international payouts. As you said yourself, paypal can freeze it without explanation etc.

Anyway, I think we should do better than this.

@jslegers

@whit537 :

I agree with @zwn .

As a Belgian, I'm not inclined to put Gittip as an alternative to Paypal donations on http://www.cascade-framework.com/ as long as there's no better solution.

Paypal support for Gittip seems like a somewhat reasonable intermediate solution, but I'm turned off by the "undercover" manual application procedure.

Bitcoin doesn't appeal to me either, as I haven't really ever used Bitcoin and using Gittip doesn't seem like a sufficient reason to start using Bitcoin.

Of course, I speak only for myself... but I doubt I'm the only European with the same opinion.

@SimonSarazin

+1 @zwn. MangoPay is always an option for gittip ? Maybe i could investigate in France to get a legal entity here with a bank account. I can try to call MangoPay to get more information on how we could do it. I have to see if a non profit entity could be a solution (associations Law 1901or financial endowment).

@whit537
Owner

+1 from @mgonto (Argentina) in private email.

@rkh

What if you have a US bank account but not a US address?

@seanlinsley
Collaborator

@rkh theoretically that would work, though you may want to contact Balanced support to be sure.

@patcon

@rkh that situation worked fine for me as a Canadian :)

@rkh

It doesn't let me enter a foreign address, though.

@bruceadams

@whit537 said (responding to a support question) that @balanced does not (yet?) accept foreign addresses. I was under the impression that we've even heard that complaint from people with Canadian addresses (and US Bank accounts).

@steveklabnik

@rkh congrats on being an edge case! ha! :frowning:

Basically, yes, this is a particular case that we are bad at right now. This kind of thing happens once in a blue moon. :frowning:

@SimonSarazin

I've had a discussion with Pierre from MangoPay (European counter-part to Balanced). They became partners with "Balanced" so it will soon be possible to use all the MangoPay network with "Balanced". But this will not be possible before end of Q2 (june, july...?) because Balanced has an heavy roadmap. In the meantime, we can use a temporary legal entity here in France to accept funds with MangoPay. I'm waiting for an answer from Pierre, but any local association could do the job. We could easily create one dedicated Gittip here in France (that's easy), or get a temporary partnership with an already existing entity.

@zwn

@SimonSarazin How is this going to work? Will we have to have one escrow or two (one in balanced, one in mangopay)? How about multicurrency escrow? I'd like to know what to prepare for in the codebase.

@SimonSarazin

@zwn, I have no idea about that. I didn't investigated how Mangopay or Balanced work :/

@whit537
Owner

They became partners with "Balanced"

Interesting! First I've heard of that since balanced/balanced-api#357 eight months ago. :-)

@jumoog

maybe you can add a option to transfer money to Digital Ocean or use it to pay Github

@patcon

Interesting. Not sure if it's a good idea for us (outside our core mission), but both Github and DigitalOcean handle payment processing via Braintree...
https://www.digitalocean.com/security/
https://help.github.com/articles/github-security#credit-card-safety

If you're really interested @jumoog, perhaps you could create another issue and update that after initiating contact with braintree/digitalocean/github? It might not get much further than that code-wise without a PR from you, but at least the info is there for the next person who might step up :)

@whit537
Owner

@jumoog Sounds like a +1 for gifts in kind (#827)?

@jumoog

yes

@whit537
Owner

Balanced has published a three-step roadmap for non-U.S. payments:

  1. Charges in local currencies.
  2. Payouts to non-U.S. bank accounts.
  3. Escrow in multiple currencies.
@patcon

(Expected Launch of phase 1 is May 22, 2014)

@steveklabnik

Emphasis on "expected". ;)

@PragTob

Good that we have @steveklabnik on that side :)

Hoping things with balanced will work out!

@mvdkleijn

Personally, I don't like the 2% additional "foreign currency conversion" costs though.... That can easily be avoided by escrowing money in more than one currency.

@steveklabnik

For certain values of "easily". :wink:

@rkh

It is also possible to have bank accounts in USD outside the US, even if the country that bank account is in is not using USD as its currency.

@mvdkleijn

@rkh - not necessarily.. we're talking about individuals, not companies. Multiple currency bank accounts can be impossible or just overly expensive for individuals. That's one of the problems an organization like balanced or gittip should solve IMO.

Putting the burden of conversion or multi currency storage issues on the gittip receiver dilutes the potential earnings. Go to far in that and PayPal becomes cheaper.…. :)

@patcon

[redacted as tangential :) ]

@whit537 whit537 referenced this issue in Homebrew/homebrew
Closed

Add donation link #20482

@lyndsysimon

@rkh @mvdkleijn:

Having attempted to open a SEPA-enabled bank account in the EU under my own name as a US citizen, I have to agree - it's extremely difficult if not impossible to do this.

After checking in to doing it under an LLC, the barriers are changed from "difficult" to "expensive".

Asking users to recieve payouts in arbitrary foreign currency seems like a non-starter to me.

We might consider that acquiring an EU account for Gittip that allows SEPA transfers would, combined with US ACH transfers via Balanced, expand our most straight-forward use case to most of the developed world. There are of course a host of legal and financial issues involved in doing this.

Bitcoin seems like the easiest solution - it can be automated with external APIs. Coinbase allows this today, and while I see no mention of credits via Bitcoin in the Balanced API docs, I suspect they're either already planning this functionality or would be open to working toward it in the future.

And with that, I'll stop talking about Bitcoin payouts in this Issue. Let's do that in #1960.

@whit537
Owner

+1 from @Seldaek in private email:

I just read your medium post about gittip growth and it struck me as someone living in Europe that one of the main adoption barriers (to me) is the payment restrictions to US citizens.

While it is probably true that the startup buzz is mostly SFO/US centric, I don't think this applies to open source work. There are tons of OS workers in europe and tons of different mentalities that are more or less friendly to open source and sharing than the US is.

I fully appreciate that it's a hard problem given the size of your business right now, but IMO finding a solution to this would expand your addressable user base dramatically.

Since I live in Switzerland, I am thinking maybe there are ways to get bank accounts here via US subsidiaries of UBS or Credit Suisse, but I am not sure what the restrictions are to be honest. Otherwise I hear creating a branch in Ireland or such is not so costly, maybe it would be enough to have a foothold and get access to european banking.

@Changaco

It seems to me that https://www.balancedpayments.com/push-to-card is coming soon, and that it would provide a solution for many (most?) non-US users (including myself).

@steveklabnik

Push to card is US only, but hopefully will expand international more quickly than standard payouts.

@rkh

Dare I say PayPal?

Note that if a non-US resident wants to close their Gittip account, that might lead to a loss of all tips to that account.

@rkh

Also, since push to card does not need an address, it would solve the US bank account without US address scenario.

@bjorn

@rkh PayPal is already an option (see https://www.gittip.com/about/faq.html), but it is considered sub-optimal (for example due to fees, arbitrary policies and not going to bank accounts). Also it's not a solution for everybody.

As for loss of all tips, I think the system would allow refunding those to the source accounts if there was no option of paying out (but I haven't checked this).

@balupton

Stripe for a while now supports AU payouts and multi-currency billing here in Australia. Which is fantastic.

ti.to uses stripe here to give us money for events, we could provide gittip with our stripe tokens, and then gittip could bill gittip using our stripe account, and we'll get the money, and it'll be awesome — in the same way ti.to does. There will still be an annoying fee associated with it, but it will surely be less than the paypal fees.

@nathany

Does Stellar have potential to fill this need?
https://stripe.com/blog/stellar

@whit537
Owner

@nathany Possibly. Thanks for mentioning it.

@whit537 whit537 added ★★☆ and removed ★★★ labels
@Fishrock123 Fishrock123 referenced this issue in jshttp/jshttp.github.io
Open

create a "team" page #43

@balupton

Stripe, Braintree, and BitPay are non-starters because we're talking about paying out to people, and afaik those are services for paying money in to a single merchant.

Why not just get people to register accounts for them, then use the user's api tokens with those services to pay in to them? Problem solved. Explained again for stripe specifically here: #126 (comment)


It would also be great if there was a wiki page for this, that summarised the issue, progress, and options. As right now the gittip website links to several different places for information about this.

@Changaco

This issue is going to become even more important now that we've started to translate Gittip into other languages.

@mvdkleijn

I would like to respectfully suggest we use Transferwise.

  • They support payOUTs in Euros to any EU country within the SEPA area.
  • They have a simple and reasonably pricing structure.

See https://transferwise.com/support/what-currencies for more details on currencies.
See https://transferwise.com/support/usd for some more details on US dollars, specifically the bottom part.

TransferWise can make transfers from USD into any of our other supported currencies.

I also believe their "origin story" as it were, fits nicely with the Gittip ideal of changing the economy. :) https://transferwise.com/en/about

@balupton

Can we get some @gittip leadership for this, namely:

  1. What is the hold up when a combination of solutions can work for everyone?
  2. How can this be sped up?
  3. What is the point of waiting implementing individual solutions?
  4. Summary of the different options in a wiki, their options and considerations, and steps to implement them

While Paypal may have a 2% fee, there is also a currency conversion fee too depending on the receiving account. The Bitcoin option doesn't specify at what rate the conversion happens too and is very hard to withdraw into fiat currency even in Australia.

So as it stands, there is no viable option for international people, which sucks, as I, like many others, would like to use my gittip balance, and recommend it as my primary income receiver, as well as if Gittip is holding onto my money, it would be nice to have access to the interest they earn on it.

@mvdkleijn

I don't mind if Gittip uses the interest on my balance (what little there is), heck we could even have an opt-in checkbox in the personal settings screen saying "yes, Gittip is allowed to use my interest to help run Gittip"

I do think we need a viable (i.e. not PayPal or Bitcoins) international payout option with clear pricing structure and clear currency conversion rate policy.

I believe Transferwise (I'm not affiliated in any way) could be this option since they use the mid-market conversion rate and we can probably work with them on the non-ideal pricing model: https://transferwise.com/support/how-much-does-it-cost

Please note that I've taken the liberty to send them the following email in hopes of getting the international payout issue resolved:

Hey there,

Gittip is an online sustainable crowdfunding site from which we hope people can start to earn their regular incomes.

For international payouts, we're still looking for a solution. I've suggested we use Transferwise.

There are probably a few concerns when using you guys though, to which I hope you can provide some answers:

1. Do you have an API we can talk to? (I couldn't find info on your site about that)

2. Would it be possible to get a different rate structure?

3. Or, if #2 is not possible, would it be possible to do bulk payouts from our Gittip account to multiple receiving accounts, thereby incurring the fee only once over the outgoing amount?

I invite you to join the discussion over at GitHub (instead of replying to this mail) and provide the answers over there. We're hoping to grow the site considerably and decent international payout support would help that goal a lot in my opinion.

You can find the discussion over at https://github.com/gittip/www.gittip.com/issues/126

Sincerely,

Martijn
@whit537
Owner

Note that if a non-US resident wants to close their Gittip account, that might lead to a loss of all tips to that account.

@rkh We don't allow closing accounts that still have a balance. If sending to a bank account or PayPal isn't an option, then you can still redistribute it as a final gift or contact support@gittip.com to receive a bitcoin payout. In any case you don't need to worry about accidentally losing the money. :-)

Also, since push to card does not need an address, it would solve the US bank account without US address scenario.

Actually, we don't strictly need an address for US bank account payouts either. It's a historical artifact that we require identity verification for bank payouts, and we're looking to relax that requirement in #987.

@whit537
Owner

It would also be great if there was a wiki page for this, that summarised the issue, progress, and options.

This ticket is the best place for info. The description has a summary of our current status.

As right now the gittip website links to several different places for information about this.

Can you be more specific?

@whit537
Owner

What is the hold up when a combination of solutions can work for everyone?

Developer and management time. :-)

How can this be sped up?

Give us a PR to add multi-currency support. That's a pre-req regardless of the solution we go with.

What is the point of waiting implementing individual solutions?

What do you mean by "individual solutions"?

Summary of the different options in a wiki, their options and considerations, and steps to implement them

As mentioned, options are in the description, with links to tickets where each is discussed further. I've made a new ticket for exploring the Stripe option: #2680.

@whit537
Owner

Please note that I've taken the liberty to send them the following email

@mvdkleijn Thanks for taking initiative! :D

The lack of an API and their pricing structure indicate to me that Transferwise is a consumer product and isn't really set up for whitelabel usage. We're going to hear the same thing from them that we heard from Stripe back in the day (and more recently Venmo): our terms of service don't allow for third-party usage. TransferWise is great if you want to send money to a friend, but it doubt it will work for sending money to someone through Gittip. Let us know if you discover differently. :-)

@mvdkleijn

Heard back from Transferwise and it would suggest @whit537 is right unfortunately...

TransferWise Support wrote:
Hey Martijn,

I had a peak at the Gittip link you provided, however I was afraid the information would get lost in the conversations as there was a long wall of text there. So I decided to respond to you on the email here instead. I hope that's okay with you.

In terms of API, then it is not something we offer as of yet. It's been requested quite many times before, however due to the way our system is set up, then it takes a lot of development time to still get there.

Regarding a different rate structure, then we always use the mid-market rate to convert the funds for you. When converting though the mid-market, then you can be sure that you are always getting the best possible rate, the same rate is applied to both payments big and small. So the amount you send won't result in a worse or better rate.

When sending multiple payments, then you would need to set up a payment order for each recipient, but it's perfectly fine to send in the deposit in a single larger sum. We will split the deposit between your payment orders and you'll be good to go.

I hope this helped provide some clarity, but should you have additional questions for us, then please let me know and I'll be happy to help.

All the best!

Mihkel Stint ⁞ TransferWise Customer Support

An API seems to be in the works though it'll take a lot of development time to still get there as they say...

The lack of proper international payouts is bothering me more and more... especially since there appear to be several possible avenues but no action on them. For me at least its also keeping me from advising people to use Gittip. (eurgh... Gratipay)

@mvdkleijn

@whit537

Give us a PR to add multi-currency support. That's a pre-req regardless of the solution we go with.

Why is it a prerequisite? A solution could auto-convert funds on the fly. Maybe not ideal in terms of getting the most bang out of your Euro / Dollar / whatever... but would be a lot simpler.

@whit537
Owner

@mvdkleijn Yeah, I guess you're right. If we escrow in USD only then we don't need multi-currency support in the database. Sure seems like escrowing in USD only is not going to be ultimately satisfactory, though.

@mvdkleijn

@whit537 I suggest international payouts is made the top priority since a lot of people are waiting for it.

It'd also give gratipay a scoop / edge over competition since I believe that no one else has "native" international payouts. (Non paypal etc)

Escrowing only in US dollars is suboptimal, I agree, but I respectfully suggest getting the feature out there now is more important than having it optimized. We can always optimize the feature at a later date. (Ie escrow in more than justvus dollars)

@whit537
Owner

@mvdkleijn We already have suboptimal non-U.S. payouts, via PayPal and bitcoin. Of the options (listed in the description), Balanced and Stripe aren't under our control. We can't really do more to make either of them move faster than they are (though the fact that neither of them has really solved this either yet should be an indication of how hard this is).

That leaves MangoPay and Trans-Pay. I'm currently pursuing the Trans-Pay + Jumio option (#417 + #2449), because that would take us into almost all countries, whereas MangoPay (#891) only gets us into Europe.

@balupton

What are the exact fees associated with the paypal option? Paypal lists a fair few fees:
https://www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees

I also assume there will be currency conversion fees on top of this perhaps?


Knowing the BTC exchange rate that is used would also be great.

@patcon

@balupton If I'm reading you correctly, and you're wondering why PayPal isn't the solution here: PayPal is suboptimal not on account of the fees, but rather because they won't underwrite Gratipay's model. We've only been permitted to use them by slipping under the radar, which has only been possible by making PayPal's usage a somewhat unwieldy manual effort :)

(Correct me if I'm wrong though, folks)

@whit537
Owner

@balupton PayPal's fee is 2% (fee capped at $20), and Coinbase's fee is 1% + 15¢ (these are on the FAQ, btw). I do hear that withdrawing from PayPal to your bank involves additional fees, but I can't speak to the specifics of that.

@bjorn

I do hear that withdrawing from PayPal to your bank involves additional fees, but I can't speak to the specifics of that.

That probably depends on the country. In Netherlands it is free to withdraw from PayPal for example.

I'm a bit surprised to read that PayPal's fee is just 2% though. Due to receiving donations I guess I have been classified as business user and am being charged 3,4% + €0,35 on them. Maybe this also depends on the country...

@whit537
Owner

I'm a bit surprised to read that PayPal's fee is just 2% though. Due to receiving donations I guess I have been classified as business user and am being charged 3,4% + €0,35 on them. Maybe this also depends on the country...

@bjorn Yeah, that hits after the 2% fee. If you look on your Gratipay history page you should see the PayPal fee that hits on our side.

@bjorn

@whit537 Ouch, so that sums up to over 5% in fees. I didn't request any PayPal withdrawal yet so far, but when I'd ever have significant amount of funds to withdraw I'll certainly go for the Bitcoin option instead.

@balupton

@bjorn good to know, I suspected that the 2% was likely only gratipay's side, and that the standard receiver fees as linked in that link I did also applied. It is pretty costly form of withdrawal.

Gratipay, how about the bitcoin exchange rate?

@patcon Just trying to figure out which method provides the maximum return on the lump that I have in Gratipay, anything less would be a waste.

@whit537
Owner

@balupton We are using Coinbase for our bitcoin wallet, and their fee is 1% + 15¢ (as mentioned above and on the FAQ), which, as usual, we pass through to you with no markup. Assuming you have your own wallet, this should be a more reasonably-priced option.

@whit537
Owner

I just learned about http://www.earthport.com/ via Twitter.

@balupton

@whit537 thanks, turns out there is coinjar in australia that allows withdrawels - unfortunately coinbase doesn't

@whit537
Owner

+1 for Canada from FD1545.

@antonsviridenko

So, are international SWIFT transfers supported currently or not?

@whit537 whit537 referenced this issue in gratipay/inside.gratipay.com
Closed

use Gratipay money to send Chad to events #139

This was referenced
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