PayPal in South Africa

Why we need it but can’t have it. Jon Edwards argues government has failed us.

By - January 8, 2010
PayPal in South Africa

Living and working in and from South Africa has its obvious perks, but of late has become somewhat of a nuisance – particularly in my line of work, which is mostly web?based. The nuts and bolts of the issue is that I, along with countless other frustrated South Africans, cannot trade online with international clients. This is, well… a big problem.

What is PayPal? Well, PayPal says: “PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information.”

Having done a little bit of homework about the cause of the problem online, it appears the answer is a bit oblique. Some say PayPal does not meet the Reserve Bank’s Forex requirements. Others say that PayPal has simply given up on pursuing the matter any further with our banks and Sars, as we – South Africa – would make up less than 1% of their global sales.

Why bother? It’s estimated by PayFast (South Africa’s supposed answer to PayPal) that the number of online users in South Africa is 4.6m , which falls well short of even Egypt with 12.6m. Then there are those on the far left that have dubbed it a bank conspiracy. I believe it’s all three, and that this is another example of government failure in this country.

In the current economic climate, and in a time where South African’s are about to receive huge publicity from the World Cup of Football, should we really be excluding ourselves outright from the global market’s biggest commercial growth area? And for what? I suspect so that our government and banks can cling onto some outmoded exchange and tax regulations in fear that, god forbid, a few people don’t declare all their earnings.

Here’s a little tidbit for you from AllAfrica.com; “The South African Revenue Service (Sars) received a record four million tax returns for individuals and trusts during the 2009 tax season.” – I’d like to add, from a population of about 46m people. It’s also estimated by Unisa’s Bureau of Market Research that, in 2005, the “second economy” spent roughly R15.9bn on informal transport (mostly taxis) – who’s taxing and monitoring that?

Yes, our banking and tax regulations have protected us quite a bit in recent months, but it makes no sense that they’re happy to let us send our hard?earned money out of the country – using PayPal’s payment gateway – to purchase stuff online, but not allow us to bring money back in by selling stuff online… …even when said “stuff” is delivered electronically via downloads.

Paypal in South Africa – comments and views

Moneyweb

 

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

What is the most important aspect of a mobile service to you?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Eskom starts massive maintenance drive, keeps load shedding at bay

Eskom switch

Eskom has so far kept the weekend free of power cuts as it started a massive maintenance drive to improve the performance and reliability of its power generating units.

How much pirates will pay for illegally downloading movies

Movie piracy

Nearly 5,000 Internet users are expected to receive letters in the near future asking them some pointed questions about their online downloading habits.

Thumbnail wireless track pad

Thumbnail track pad

A new wearable device, NailO, turns the user’s thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad, writes Larry Hardesty from MIT.

Most pirated movies on BitTorrent

Pirate flag loading screen (Black Flag site)

Furious 7, Interstellar, and Taken 3 hold onto the top 3 spots in TorrentFreak’s most pirated movies on BitTorrent chart.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
X
bool(true)