PayPal Stops Personal Payments In Singapore

PayPal will stop allowing personal payments in Singapore on February 20. It said in an email to members that this was due to “regulatory instructions”.

People will still be able to make commercial payments for goods and services with their accounts, such as at online merchants, or receive funds, but we can expect that fund transfers between personal accounts will be halted.

They’re not clear on exactly what sort of fund transfers will be stopped, but this seems in line with what happened in other countries. According to reports, PayPal Japan’s personal account holders stopped being able to receive or send money to individuals in 2010, and now have to pay a business fee for transactions. The same year, users in Taiwan and Brazil reported that they stopped being able to send personal payments.

PayPal’s wording seems to suggest that users will still be able to receive payments from “sales and trading”, so this shouldn’t hurt individuals selling on eBay (which owns PayPal). However, many of the smaller blogshops in the region are run by individuals, and those transfers are to personal accounts. Blogging platform, LiveJournal, has said it has a global pool of over 50,000 blogshops. It said that the transaction volume of Singapore blogshops was $80 million in that year alone.

Update: PayPal responded to say that personal payments such as cash gifts or living allowances won’t be allowed. Underlying goods and services will be permitted, and this extends to commercial payments made and received by Singapore users covering personal, “premier” or business accounts. Users can also still receive funds from PayPal users outside of Singapore, and that is dependent on whether personal payments are allowed in the sender’s country. Blogshops, you can rest easy.