If you have a PayPal US account and you’re not a US Citizen, PayPal US will not give you access to your money… to be more precise, PayPal US will require you to have documents that you possibly can’t have as a foreigner.
Let me explain, if you’re like me and you have an existing PayPal account from the US because for some reason you signed up for PayPal US or lived in the US before then left the US; you now need to have PayPal Cash to accept the money in your account. This will require you to provide a social security number or ITIN.
That’s a BIG problem for non-US citizens.
Since you don’t live in the US [anymore], you won’t have the option to mail a check from PayPal or get a US bank account to receive your money.
Forget about refunding payments you received in your PayPal, then asking to be paid again to a different PayPal account. The refund button is not there.
So now your money is stuck.
Putting a series of 111–11–1111 for your social security number will not work, PayPal will ask you for supporting documents. Don’t even try. They’ll put a limitation on your account for 180 days if you do.
Customer service via email and chat is useless. They’ll just advice you to call internationally. Apparently, this issue is out of their league.
Calling customer support internationally will be expensive and in my opinion useless. You’ll be on hold more than you’re talking to an agent. If you have a prepaid phone, be ready to run out of credits and start the call all over again. You’ll do this several times. When you’re finally connected to an agent, you’ll be forwarded several times, put on hold, then put on hold, again.
In the end, no resolution. Thus your money is stuck with PayPal.
PAYPAL IS NOT ALONE
A lot of online business is done in US dollars. A lot of US-based online companies also require you to provide your social security number and/or ITIN.
Consider this as a barrier for entry for a lot of non-US citizens who would like to create an online business. A lot of online businesses also only accept credit cards from the US or only from specific countries (usually 1st world countries).
All of this control is driving me nuts!!!
ON A SEPARATE NOTE… WE NEED A BETTER PAYPAL AND BETTER MONEY!
The dollar is controlled and tracked by the US Federal Reserve. You also must not escape government tax farms. As such controls must be put in place. I know.
This is why PayPal is requiring this information from you. But in an era where transactions are done across borders and in multiple currencies, clearly, PayPal and most fiat currency systems are cumbersome and outdated.
All of this security and control only serves to hinder the flow of money from one individual to the other, i.e. hinders the flow of value from one individual to the other. It doesn't stop bad actors from doing bad things, it just makes it harder for good people like you and me to access our money or do transactions internationally.
We need a better alternative. PayPal and the almighty dollar are not cutting it.
CRYING OUT FOR A SOLUTION
The only solution I see is bitcoin and crypto currencies. This is my plea, to programmers and those in the crypto space: CAN WE DEVELOP A CRYPTO VERSION OF PAYPAL?
We need to transact directly withe one another. Person to person. We do NOT need middlemen like PayPal and the Federal Reserve. Hand us control over our money that is rightfully ours. Stop controlling how value flows. Give us control over our own money. Give us responsibility over our money. Let us win or lose based on our own merit. Give us our power over money.
Can we have that?
I hope this article helped others in whatever form. I also hope somebody out there is reading this problem and is capable and competent enough to create a solution. Thank you for reading and please share.
This article is also shared on Medium.