Subscription Payments Online

We regret that we cannot at the moment (from 7th January) take Paypal payments.

Paypal have contacted us with an email which presumes ours is a new account, asking for all sorts of details which are more appropriate to a limited company than a small unregistered club. This despite the fact that we went through a process when the account was set up some years ago to prove our bona fides, and link to a bank account at HSBC, with whom we have also gone through a similar process. By unfortunate coincidence, Paypal have initiated this while the secretary is out of the country, and so cannot provide such things as a copy of our bank statement, even if all their other requests were appropriate to us. They do not provide an email address from which one can get advice, and our message to their online help appears to have gone to someone who does not quite understand the situation and has given us a response which seems mostly cut-and-paste. Unfortunately, they did not supply an address we can reply to - we would have to go back to the website and start again, a form of one-way communication which leaves us somewhat bewildered: we find it hard to believe any business would wish to have such inefficient dialogue with its customers. We have written to the UK head office and have now received an initial response from someone who does have an email address, with promises to deal with the matter when we reach the top of the queue. In the meantime, they have frozen our account.

We had a similar problem a while ago with our bank sending us material more appropriate to a large limited company, but with good will on both sides, and a channel to communicate in both directions which Paypal seems not to provide as default, the matter was relatively swiftly resolved, even if the process did waste a good deal of the secretary's time. The Club secretary is most sympathetic to the idea that banks and similar institutions should make checks to try to prevent fraud, money laundering and tax evasion, but at the same time, while it still seems possible for millions of pounds to flow freely around the world from one tax haven to another with few questions asked, it might be considered somewhat inappropriate to devote great attention to a volunteer-run concern like the St Christopher Club, which is far, far too small even to be registered for VAT, accepting payments of 20 or 50 for a few years' subscription - hardly the stuff of money laundering. He looks forward in hope to a day when people might be allowed to make rather more common-sense judgements, and concentrate their effort where it might be rather more productive.

We have every hope of being able to sort out the problem with Paypal within a month or two. In the meantime, would those who wish to pay a subscription please contact us by email, and we will try to suggest a work-around.

© The St Christopher Club, 2018.