A lot of flight simulation enthusiasts are not going to be pleased with this news. And if you are anything like me, you have spent thousands or FS addons via the popular online retailer Simmarket. For me, nearly if not all of my purchases there for the past 8 years have been through PayPal. And to be honest, as a online shopper, I LOVE PayPal. It’s fast, efficient, safe, and convenient. I have used it ever since I made my first EBAY purchase back in 2005. But sadly as a merchant, it seems like they are increasingly becoming more and more of a pain in the ass to deal with.
You may recall Orbx dropping the PayPal option soon after launching Orbx Direct and separating from The FlightSim Store. Off topic, is TFS still running or what?? Anyhoo, I remember the issue with Orbx being a fairly new company to use PayPal, found all it’s incoming assets frozen for several months. It was so bad that Orbx was not able to make payroll which was dependent on the monthly sales income. I believe John had to dip into the bank to sustain the company for several months without dime coming in despite a record sales year. This ultimately led to PayPal no longer being an option which let to quite a backlash from the community. What was worse is PayPal was not initially giving a reason for withholding the funds nor a timeline of when they would be released. You can see the issue.
Naturally, PayPal prevents the consumer from having to enter credit card or banking information to every Tom, Dick, & Harry website they come across especially the sketchy porn sites many of you know you frequent. But on the other hand, it allowed those without a credit or debit card to purchase products internationally. Not to mention, their dispute process which has saved me money buying crap off Facebook ad’s that turned out to be too good to be true.
As for Simmarket, I reached out to CEO Miguel Blaufuks give us insight on the issue as no longer being able to use PayPal at Simmarket is gonna be a bitch for a lotta people. Here’s what he had to say:
“We have decided to stop all PayPal operations, e.g. using their services for receiving or sending payments as after a continuing series of incidents over many years they (pp) have finally managed to break our patience and trust by demanding in a questionnaire received on April 1st that we lay open to them our entire business operation including names of business partners, amounts traded, full list of products, a list of all 3rd parties we are in business with, how long we keep the money and a number of other questions including some about bank licensing and compliances.
While some of the information demanded is no secret to them at all, other is in our view none of their business.
We have replied to them asking on what legal grounds they base their request upon and have not received a reply as of this date. As Paypal as determined a deadline for our reply on May 1st we had to act quickly and have therefore decided to get ahead of that date and stop paypal acceptance on April 20th. We feel that with the help and understanding of both our customers and vendors we can tackle the inconvenience this may cause to many. It would be dishonest to not foresee a slight drop in sales that we believe will be quickly overcome after a short adjustment period.
We will soon, hopefully before April 20th introduce additional payment options to the 10 already available. We will introduce Google Pay and Apple Pay to the lot and believe that they will appeal to many customers and be just as easy or even easier to use then PayPal. We are also looking at the possibility of integrating Amazon Payments at a later point.
For developers we are looking for quick alternative ways of payment but for now we must resort to bank transfers only, as we cannot promise a solution ready for the next payment date on May 1st.
I hope this sheds some quick light on the facts.”
I am also curious regarding how this news may affect the developers that do business with Simmarket. I remember all the threats Orbx got when they announced no more PayPal. And it seems like they are doing hellafine. So maybe this is not such a big deal after other than a matter of adjustment of using another online pay service. Till then, you have a couple more weeks to figure it out. Thanks to Miguel for his reply and insight. One must wonder if other vendors and sites may stray from PayPal in the near future. You may want to prepare yourself just in case.