Dear PayPal. This Canadian has a few requests.

paypaldebitI’d have to say that PayPal is one of my favourite bi-products of the internet. Not specifically that company, but just the ability to send and receive money online instantly.

I remember vividly the “fun” of buying on eBay before I had a PayPal account. It was so much “fun” driving down to the bank to get a money order, paying the $5-7 fee, driving to the post office, mailing out the money order…and waiting. Waiting the week or so to have something shipped is hard enough, but having to wait the extra week before the seller even received my payment? Purely infuriating.

Despite my love of this method of financial transaction, I have a few bones to pick.

I suppose I could go off on the “trust” aspect of PayPal. Many people don’t fully trust them, and I suppose I should be less trusting too. However, I don’t trust that my dogs will stay out of the trash while I’m gone…haven’t gotten rid of them either.

No, my frustrations lie once again with features available based on geographic location. Apparently in the US, your PayPal accounts are pretty close to full bank accounts. Up here in Canada, they sometimes feel more savings bonds or coin collections. Sure, there’s money in there, but I just can’t get to it when I want to.

There are 3 key features that I would like the folks at PayPal to deliver North just as soon as possible.

Debit Cards

Ok, we actually had this…very briefly. When I got my first PayPal account years ago, I also got a PayPal MasterCard. It was a debit card, and I could use it like any other debit card, but with the funds in my PayPal account. Unfortunately, back then, I was only buying things online, so there was never any money in the account. By the time I started selling on eBay, they had discontinued the debit card program.

This is my biggest request for PayPal. Being someone who harps about cash flow regularly, not having instant access to my money is frustrating.

Shorter Wait Times for Transfers

Alright, so we don’t have debit cards. Fine. At least I can move my money to an account that does. For some reason, in Canada, our wait times are higher. In my account, I’m given the option to transfer my balance to a Canadian or US bank account. The former takes 5-7 business days, while the latter takes 3-5. Transferring money into my PayPal account is even worse. It takes 6-8 days from a Canadian account vs. 3-5 for a US account.

If a client pays me via PayPal, that means it could take 7 business days for the money to be in an account I can use. In any businesses, that’s a long time to wait.

Bill Me Later

Ideal for small businesses, “Bill Me Later” let’s you purchase items through PayPal on terms. Let’s say you need supplies for a job that you’re not getting paid for in advance. You could get the supplies immediately, and then pay for them when you get paid. While it’s always better to pay up front, there are times when this feature would be really helpful.

Alright PayPal, now it’s your turn. I don’t know what sort of red tape stands in your way. I’m sure, just like Spotify and Diet Cherry Pepsi, there’s some crazy reason Canada won’t let you in. All I’m saying is that I would use your services much more (that means more $$ for you) if you had these features in place. I don’t think I’m alone.