Paypal has suddenly limited, closed, or restricted the accounts of major traffic exchange, mailer, and advertising space owners. While not entirely unexpected in some ways, this comprehensive effort by Paypal to vacate the traffic industry space is certain to throw both major and minor program owners “for a loop”, as they say. After briefly touching on the issue back in June, I have spent the last two weeks watching as nearly every major player in the incentivized traffic niche has moved quickly to respond to the industry-wide Paypal account closures. Some owners have had accounts limited already, some are being proactive and pulling Paypal in advance, and a few are fighting it out on the front lines with the world’s leading payment processor. In the midst of this furious flurry of activity, I’ve been asked one all-important question…
Will the loss of Paypal kill the traffic exchange, viral mailer, and incentivized traffic industry?
Of course not.
If you’re asking me…
Over the last decade (or so) those of us in the industry have collectively watched as “purges” have played out with payment processors. Although this may be the final purge by Paypal for the traffic niche, it definitely doesn’t mean the end of paying people to view your ads. Nor is it “The first rodeo” for the best and brightest in the business. Already leading prgoram owners like John Bell, Steve Ayling, Paul Kinder, the Legacy Team, Matthew Graves, Maryanne Myers, Kenneth Koh and Darren Olander have made bold moves to implement alternate payment processors – all while still (apparently) making good on commissions currently owed to members. By no means is that short list of names a complete tally of owners that have been hit – but you can be sure if those folks are switching away from Paypal, then the deal is done.
So what does this mean for the future?
First things first – folks are quickly setting up alternate payment options for their businesses. Both Payza and Solid Trust Pay are solid alternatives for affiliates, and the more savvy owners are also ensuring that Bitcoin payments can be accepted as well. Is any of these an ideal solution? In terms of matching exactly to Paypal’s formerly provided services, no. Insofar as moving money for purchases and payouts, yes. Plus, the current paradigm shift for us all also means opportunity…
An opportunity for Paypal’s biggest competitors to seize market share.
As tens (hundreds?) of thousands of online affiliates flee Paypal to create Payza and STP accounts, you can bet that both of these companies will work hard to provide positive experiences and reliable service for both program owners and their affiliates alike. The transition to these alternate payment processors likely won’t be seamless, nor will every owner out there make the switch succcessfully. I am certain, though, that both payment processors will be doing all they can to snare this “fresh slice of the pie”, as it were. It’s my belief that the end result of the traffic industry’s Paypal limitations will be a more streamlined, less-anxious industry as we approach the New Year.
Or maybe I’m just a dreamer. 😉