PayPal PSA(?) / Alternative Service

Posted 5 months, 11 days ago (Edited 5 months, 7 days ago) by Lukitsune

I'm not sure if this technically fits here because it's not about a particular buyer or seller BUT it is about a service that we as artists use. I think it's super important information for people to know. If this doesn't belong here I'm sure an admin will tell me and I'll remove it ^ ^

So I've had a number of people ask me why I've stopped using PayPal and started using Square so I figured I'd make a bulletin explaining my reasoning.

More and more I see cases of artists getting completely screwed over by PayPal because PayPal doesn't protect digital artists. I, unfortunately, was one of those people who got screwed over. My experience when dealing with PayPal representatives wasn't a pleasant one at all and goes as follows:

Feb. 14th- I notice that my PayPal account is limited and they wanted me to provide some legal documents to prove my identity. I gladly sent in copies of my legal documents and hoped to get the limitation removed so I could transfer my funds into my bank.

Feb. 18th- I get an email from PayPal saying that my account was permanently limited due to me apparently breaking some of their Acceptable Policy. Which I didn't mind you. It all seemed really strange as I've never gotten any charge backs or any disputes filed against me before. I was really confused as to why they would limit my account. I then check my account and it was true, I had been limited permanently. I then contacted customer support through the website and they just bs-ed me and threw the same copy, paste information that they did in their email. I then pushed more to try and find out how I possibly violated their policies. I never got a reply from them again, they just completely ignored me. 

I waited a couple hours and still no reply, at this point I was really getting worried so I called PayPal through their phone number. Once I was on the line with a representative she was very helpful but didn't seem to know what she was doing. She asked me where I sold my art and I told her, I even provided proof that customers were getting my products. She said she would fix it and get back to me within 7-10 days. 

Mar. 5th- After two weeks with no word from PayPal I decided to call customer support again. This time, the call was much shorter and much more upsetting. I told the woman about my situation and how I had waited for their call and she said, "I'm so sorry to hear that you had to wait but if you want your account unlimited you're going to have to have to take us to court." I was shocked at that, especially when the other employee said that she was fixing things. She then asked me if I wanted to know why I got limited, to which I said yes. In response in the snarkiest voice ever she said, "Then you'll have to take us to court."

I mean you don't have to like your job but I don't think you should talk to clients like that? Basically I want nothing to do with PayPal anymore.

Now for the reason that I use Square. Square (not cash) has charge back protection for all users of their system and as long as you follow their guidelines when processing your payments then you're covered up to a certain amount per month. Why are we using a service that HURTS ARTISTS. PayPal was designed around EBay for physical sales ONLY. There are better options out there with a multitude of features that makes it easier on both the artist and their clients. Square has an integration with other e-commerce services that easily allows you to fit your needs.

It works internationally, does direct depositing to your bank account, has tons of more features and services for people who provide a service. Just please take some time and take a look into the service yourself. Scams are becoming more and more common, we need to protect ourselves. If PayPal doesn't care about digital artists then we should STOP USING THEIR SERVICE!!

Edit: Thanks to Pinkaboo-Hime bringing to light something I missed, Square is somewhat international. "Card payment acceptance with the Square app is currently available in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. We currently don’t support payment card processing outside of these countries or in U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands."

BONUS: Square is used more commonly than you think, if you've ever gone to a business and paid on an iPad then you've used it. They also own the personal fund app called Cash ($Cash app) is only for US residents the last I checked.. It's similar to PayPal's Venmo and is for personal transfers and you can't do business through it. 

Square has so many features that make invoicing and selling easy. Way easier and more comfortable than PayPal and includes even more features that can tailor the service to fit your business. Please, please try it out in the future for your own sake, we don't need to be taking the risk of charge backs and other issues just because we use PayPal.

Square's integration with lots of other e-commerce services can benefit not only digital artists but are great for merch sales too!


Below is a test invoice to show you all how it looks from the seller's perspective. It's quite nice actually, much nicer than PayPal's. You can request tips, deposits, allow a customer to save their CC info for next time, and add an attachment of your TOS very easily.


Below this is the invoice from the buyer's perspective. When you click pay in the email you are redirected to a secure web page to actually process the payment.



There's even a referral program through Square! Just as a little incentive for artists out there I'll link mine.

If you wanna make an account as a seller, if you use that link you can get free payment processing! The free processing is up to $1000 and is good for 180 days.

Also that link can only be used by those in the US. Square doesn't yet support Cross-border free processing at this time.

If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer and if there's any other service that's an alternative to PayPal that's trustworthy feel free to reply here with it! Also if you've had any problems with PayPal please share your stories as well, let everyone be informed about the risk they're putting themselves in!

I don't know everything as I just started using this service so if anyone has information to correct me or to add about this service let me know as well!

EDIT: Payments accepted as of now are through debit/credit or via Google/Apple pay!

EDIT: If anyone using Stripe could give us more info on it that would be extremely helpful! As Square is not available in some countries!


If anyone is wondering about the user friendliness of stripe: it’s ehhhhhh stressful at first. But from what I’ve seen so far it’s pretty good.

First of all, if you’re under 18 then you can open an account and connect it to your bank account no problem. They will however send you a friendly message asking you to update the account holder settings to your guardian to represent you. This was a huge plus for me since it meant I could be honest about my age (and not have to avoid my account being banned like I’ve heard many people on PayPal have gone through). However this lowered age restriction means that there’s more personal info you have to give compared to PayPal. The only information displayed on my invoices is a phone number (I chose an old phone that is not personal) and an email address. You can change both of these but I haven’t checked if you can take them off the invoice.

It has no much additional stuff for customisation that I actually found it confusing if I could just use it for invoicing. You have a choice of ‘apps’ that are connected to stripe to help you with fancier invoicing, tracking, aka lots of professional business stuff. It also gives you an api that allows you to develop your own systems for your business. However you don’t actually have to use these, and they aren’t necessary to me for art commissions so I didn’t delve any deeper into this.

Using the built in stripe invoicing: if you want to send an invoice in a different currency to your own, you have to change that in your customer’s settings manually before you make an invoice. After you make an invoice or choose a currency, you can’t change it again for that customer. the only way to change it again is to delete that customer and recreate them again. This was the only thing that confused me because at the start I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t change the currency from £s to $s in an invoice. I felt so clever when I figured this shit out lol.

that’s pretty much all I’ve gathered so far from stripe. In conclusion: it was hard for me to wrap my head around due to the large amount of choices that were unecessary to me. However once you set everything up there are no problems and it works normally. It’s basically a payment transfer service targeted more at businesses, but it can work for commissions too! 

hope this long ass post helped at least a few people ;-;


ashplode I'm sorry to hear that! It's strange though since their website says that Square is available in Canada....

bropiiii Thank you for sharing this! It's interesting to see what's done differently and what's done similarly to other payment services. 


bumping because a) says thread is too old to bumped, b) Square is so much better than PayPal, and c) this issue is still really relevant in the artist community 

I started using Sqaure a few months ago and I hadn't had a single issue since. Tbh PayPal's policies always made me uncomfortable since it's so obviously geared toward physical goods; and what happened to you happened to me but I managed to somehow unlimit my account (I gave up and let my aunt, who is an attorney, speak to the representatives). Second, the PayPal fees are so much higher for little reason aside from PP being more well-known and popular. And the organization of Sqaure is easier to navigate like Lukitsune mentioned.


This is really useful, thank you. My paypal account was removed (apparently back in May? And I can't access it at all now oh well). So, i'll definitely check out square!