Menu Close

Category: E-Commerce Systems

PornHub weighs up new payment options following PayPal pull-out

PayPal recently pulled out of an agreement with popular pornography website PornHub which allowed content creators to be paid via PayPal. In a blog post PornHub called the move “devastating.”

“We are all devastated by PayPal’s decision to stop payouts to over a hundred thousand performers who rely on them for their livelihoods,” the company wrote, apologizing for the inconvenience and promising that all payments will be made as quickly as possible.

“If you have a pending payment for October and were using PayPal, please contact us immediately (select support type payment issues) with your updated payment method and update your payment info in your model settings tab as well. Payments will start to be sent out the end of this week. We sincerely apologize if this causes any delays and we will have staff working around the clock to make sure all payouts are processed as fast as possible on the new payment methods.”

In addition to serving as a massive digital library of free porn clips, PornHub has a Model Program in which people can upload their videos and, like YouTube, be paid a share of the website’s ad revenue.

A spokesperson for PornHub provided the following statement to Vice:

“Decisions like that of PayPal and other major companies do nothing but harm efforts to end discrimination and stigma towards sex workers. While we still have several payment methods for our models available, we will continue to add more sex worker friendly ones and explore cryptocurrency options in the near future.”

A spokesperson for PayPal, meanwhile, was ambiguous, stating, “Following a review, we have discovered that Pornhub has made certain business payments through PayPal without seeking our permission. We have taken action to stop these transactions from occurring.”

For what it’s worth, PayPal’s acceptable use policy excludes “certain sexually oriented materials or services.”

PornHub is now reportedly looking to expand its cryptocurrency option, which is currently limited to Verge (XVG). In order to be paid with XVG, models must have a digital wallet that supports such payments.

Skrill launches rewards program, crypto-exchange feature

Skrill, a payment gateway company based in the UK, has launched a new customer rewards program. Called “Knect,” the rewards program awards points to customers when they use their e-wallet or prepaid MasterCard. Recipients can then trade the points for gift cards and various e-commerce rewards.

“I’m extremely excited to be able to recognize and reward our customers and do that through the launch of Skrill Knect,” Skrill CEO Lorenzo Pellegrino said. “From today, all Skrill customers will be able to enjoy exciting, relevant rewards just by using their digital wallet or prepaid Mastercard.” He continued:

“Skrill Knect doesn’t just benefit our customers, but our partners too. We’re keen to work with existing and new merchants and brands to deliver the right reward to the right customer at the right time.”

SBC News reports that Knect is now live in thirty countries in Europe and will soon become Skrill’s foremost loyalty rewards program.

Additionally, Skrill recently introduced “crypto-to-crypto”—a feature that enables users to exchange cryptocurrencies.

“Buying and selling crypto with Skrill just got even better,” the company wrote on Twitter. “Introducing crypto-to-crypto—a new feature that lets you use your bitcoin balance to buy and sell the other 8 cryptocurrencies we offer.”

According to, in order to use the new feature you must open a Skrill account and provide information including your name, country of residence, local fiat currency, and a valid email address.

“As a regulated entity,” the website states, “Skrill has some security and identity verification procedures in place but its website states that buying cryptocurrency does not involve any additional verification.”

Skrill breaks down its fiat-to-crypto conversion process—which it says takes a matter of seconds—on its website.

PayPal confirms $4 billion acquisition of Honey Science

PayPal has agreed to purchase Honey Science Corporation for $4 billion, making it PayPal’s largest ever acquisition. Founded in 2012, Honey Science is a tech company whose browser extension finds deals and coupons for online shoppers. As TechCrunch reports:

“Currently, Honey’s 17 million monthly active users take advantage of its suite of money-saving tools to track prices, get alerts, make lists, browse offers and participate in an Ebates-like rewards program called Honey Gold. Its users tend to be younger, millennial shoppers, both male and female.”

After tracking coupons and promos, Honey’s browser extension automatically applies the best one to your order, ensuring that you get the largest discount available. Honey has reportedly saved its 17 million members over $2 billion.

John Kunze, PayPal SVP of Global Consumer Products and Technology, said PayPal will incorporate Honey’s add-ons directly into its own technology.

“What’s exciting is that we can take the functionality Honey now offers — which is product discovery, price tracking, offers and loyalty — and build that into the PayPal and Venmo experiences,” Kunze told TechCrunch, adding:

“When Honey says they’re putting money in the pockets of their customers — that’s perfectly in line with what we want to do. We want to make digital commerce and financial services more affordable, easier to use, more fun and more accessible to people around the world.”

PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman stated that “Honey is amongst the most transformative acquisitions in PayPal’s history.”

“The combination of Honey’s complementary consumer products with our platform will significantly enhance our ability to drive engagement and play a more meaningful role in the daily lives of our consumers,” he said.

“As a partner of choice for our merchants, this is another way that we can help them build and strengthen their customer relationships, provide personalized offers, and drive incremental sales. The combination of Honey and PayPal adds another significant and meaningful dimension to our two-sided platform.”

PayPal to introduce new in-store payment system

PayPal is planning to launch a new in-store payment system next year. This, Business Insider reports, could include a digital wallet for physical stores and NFC and QR code technology to facilitate payments. The plan was revealed by PayPal CEO Dan Schulman in a recent interview with Axios.

Schulman observed that in-store payment is becoming more attractive given the benefits it can offer customers—for example, using reward points to make purchases, or using a combination of reward points, a debit or credit card, or other forms of payment. According to Business Insider:

“These features could make in-store payments more convenient and flexible, helping PayPal become a significant player in the space, so it’s very possible PayPal’s in-store offerings will include such capabilities as well as other financial tools like POS financing.

“Notably, mobile in-store payments haven’t taken off yet in the US, as they’re projected to bring in just $76 billion in payment volume in 2019 in the country, while mobile e-commerce is set to more than double that total, but new features and values like those Schulman mentioned could help the industry take off in future years.”

In the same interview, Schulman addressed the challenges of doing business in repressive countries like China.

“We work with regulators around the world,” he said. “That is who we are. And so we need to learn, if we’re going to be a global company, to be flexible, and you need to be nimble, and you need to follow the rules of each country that you’re in.”

“We need to rise above our own self-interests and really think about the whole,” he continued. “To me the whole is, ‘Do consumers have financial health?’ I think what we should try to stay away from … are political issues.”

“Every country around the world has issues. We need to navigate those in a way that we feel is most consistent with our values, and most consistent with our mission. … I wouldn’t single out China.”

PayPal unveils Women Luminaries Program in Singapore

PayPal is rolling out a new program in Singapore. The payment company’s Women Luminaries Program, or WLP, is meant to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the field of technology, in which they have been historically underrepresented. The goal is to make the industry more gender inclusive.

In a statement, Director of PayPal Singapore’s Development Center, Jerry Tso, said:

“In building the fintech ecosystem, it is important that we promote women in engineering by nurturing female tech talent and provide them with opportunities that would help them stay in the industry and become leaders. With our expertise and network, PayPal is in the position to offer these opportunities and build Singapore’s next generation of fintech talent that will see women on par with men in the industry in every aspect.”

Fintech Singapore reports that women are a minority in the majority of tech companies, particularly when it comes to upper management and other advanced positions. The problem is reflected in the Singaporean jobs market: in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) companies, only 25 percent of employees are female. Likewise, about 30 percent of entrepreneurs in Singapore are women.

“In light of the diversity gap, the first installment of the WLP is designed to identify female students from several local universities who demonstrate a keen interest and aptitude to build a career in tech,” according to Fintech Singapore.

“The program is open to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR) residing in the country, for students in their second or third year of their respective bachelor programs with participating universities.”

Eligible applicants must be enrolled in tech-related courses and exhibit a certain degree of talent. Those selected will be awarded a one-time scholarship and have access to a range of PayPal resources, including mentoring and career guidance, technical workshops, and exclusive events and training courses.

Indonesia embracing cashless payment systems

E-payment systems are taking off—or rather have already done so—in the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia. According to The Jakarta Post, there are approximately 38 e-wallet applications now registered with Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank. In 2018, the apps facilitating transactions worth a total of $1.5 billion. That figure is projected to increase to $25 billion by 2023.

Citing statistics from iPrice Group and App Annie, The Jakarta Post writes:

“The Indonesian fintech industry is currently dominated by local players. According to App Annie’s Q2 2019 data, the top five e-wallet apps based on monthly active users from both Google Play Store and iOS are GoPay, OVO, DANA, LinkAja and Jenius.”

Throughout the month of February, the value of transactions serviced by GoPay totaled $6.3 billion. Unsurprisingly, millennials account for the overwhelming majority of Indonesia’s e-wallet app users: “According to a study by Jakpat Mobile Survey Platform and DailySocial, 74.6 percent of e-wallet app users in Indonesia are 20 to 35 years old.” That says much about the future of payment systems, not only in Indonesia but throughout the developed world.

Indeed, over the past two years the number of internet-owned e-wallet apps in Indonesia has gone up by 50 percent. “Such growth was encouraged by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in a bid to improve the country’s economic development, as three-quarters of 250 million Indonesian people reportedly still have no access to basic financial services.”

The Indonesian government is becoming increasingly involved in the promotion and growth of the country’s fintech industry, reflecting its economic potential. For example, per The Jakarta Post:

“In May, the government issued QRIS (Quick Response Indonesia Standard) as a standardization effort to increase the use of cashless payments, as it is found to be a convenient card replacement solution to reach 65 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.”

MercadoLibre enjoys continued growth

MercadoLibre, an Argentine e-commerce marketplace operator traded publicly in the United States and operating in throughout Latin America, has published an earnings report reflecting the company’s continued exponential growth. Its stock, according to Yahoo! Finance, has increased more than 100% since the beginning of the year; it rose a further 12% on the heels of the earnings report.

Per Yahoo!:

“MercadoLibre reported net revenue of $545 million, up 63% year over year. That’s an acceleration from the 48% growth in Q1, which marked its fastest growth rate in more than two years. Even more incredibly, growth soared more than 102% in local currencies, which was also a sequential increase from 93%. Revenue easily topped analysts’ consensus estimate of $504.8 million.

“Net income grew to $16.2 million, far better than the $11.2 million loss MercadoLibre generated in the prior-year quarter. This resulted in earnings per share of $0.31, up from a loss of $0.25 in the year-ago quarter, and topping expectations of $0.25.”

MercadoLibre uses Mercado Pago, among the most popular online payment systems in Latin America, to process its transactions. According to the earnings report, total payment volume (TPV) for Mercado Pago was more than $6.5 billion while the number of transactions processed stood at 181.6 million, a 113% increase from the same quarter in 2018.

Moreover, Mercado Pago’s mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) is expanding: there are more than twice as many active mPOS devices now than there were a year ago. mPOS is currently being used in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

MercadoLibre is also witnessing growth in its merchant and consumer credit sector. Mercado Credito, as it is called, employs AI algorithms to help facilitate successful personal and business loans. Yahoo! reports that “During the quarter, the company’s loan portfolio climbed 75% year over year, and 44% quarter over quarter in dollars.”

MercadoLibre was established in 1999 and has its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

ALTBalaji partners with Amazon Pay

Indian video-on-demand company ALTBalaji has entered into a partnership with Amazon Pay, according to a statement by Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO of ALTBalaji and Group COO Balaji Telefilms. As a result, Best Media Info reports, ALTBalaji “customers can now experience a one-click purchase using Amazon Pay and avail of a flat 50% cashback of up to Rs 150 on paying for their ALTBalaji subscription.”

Pantvaidya lauded the partnership as an important step toward future growth and customer satisfaction, as well as general convenience:

“This partnership helps us cater to audiences who prefer the Amazon ecosystem and payment options, which is considered as the most trusted gateway for digital audiences across the country.

“Through this partnership, ALTBalaji’s library of homegrown, original premium content will now be even more accessible to a wider and newer set of audiences.

“The association will further help us extend our reach, while allowing Amazon Pay to offer their customers the entire catalogue of ALTBalaji’s premium content at an extremely competitive price point.”

Likewise, Manesh Mahatme, Director of Amazon Pay India, asserted that the association will create a more customer-friendly interface.

“Integration of Amazon Pay on ALT Balaji gives consumers a safe and seamless payment choice,” he said. “I am certain that this partnership will enhance the overall consumer experience on the platform and will encourage more subscribers to enjoy a friction-free checkout.”

For example, customers will now have access to “one-click” payments that make for an easier and faster transaction process. “Additionally,” Best Media Info reports, “through Amazon Pay, customers can receive refunds faster and also view the details of balance transactions using an online statement.”

Founded in 2015, ALTBalaji is available by subscription only. It offers customers a wide variety of content and genres including drama, comedy, thriller, crime, mystery and romance.

Apple CEO: Apple Pay now outgrowing PayPal

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Pay is now growing at a faster rate than PayPal, the web’s most popular payment service. Apple Pay is the company’s mobile payment service that allows users to make purchases using their iPhones.

During a call with investors, Cook asserted that Apple Pay is currently servicing close to one billion transactions every month—an increase of more than 100% from a year ago. Business Insider reports: “In the past three months, [Apple Pay] has launched in 17 new countries, which means its reach now extends to 47 markets in total, including the entire European Union.”

Cook stated that, over the last quarter, Apple Pay bested PayPal in two critical areas: volume of transactions per month and the number of new users that have signed on to the service.

“Cook was likely referencing numbers reported earlier this month in PayPal’s second-quarter earnings,” Business Insider reports. “PayPal said that it added nine million new members during the second quarter. It also said that engagement per active account increased by 9% to 39 times a year.”

While Cook’s spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment, Business Insider estimates that a minimum of nine million new users were picked up by Apple Pay during the last quarter.

In January Apple announced that, with the addition of Target, Taco Bell, Hy-Vee supermarkets in the Midwest, Speedway convenience stores and Jack in the Box, “74 of the top 100 merchants in the US and 65 percent of all retail locations across the country will support Apple Pay.”

Commenting on the expansion, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, Jennifer Baily, stated:

“Whether customers are buying everyday household items, groceries, snacks for a road trip or grabbing a quick meal, Apple Pay is the easiest way to pay in stores, while also being secure and faster than using a credit or debit card at the register. We’re thrilled even more customers will be able to pay at their favorite stores and restaurants using the Apple devices that are always with them.”