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Topic # 240696 20-Sep-2018 18:16
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Today I received a call from a gentleman promoting a startup website. His motivations and mission sounded good so I was inclined to support it.

 

But partway through the call, it became obvious his understanding of what was involved in launching a website was rather green. So I did some digging.

 

It quickly became apparent he was going to use Paypal to accept payments on behalf of merchants. This is specifically disallowed in the Paypal agreement which states:

 

Prohibited Activities

 

You may not use the PayPal service for activities that:

 

[...]

 

2. relate to transactions that (a) show the personal information of third parties in violation of applicable law, (b) support pyramid or ponzi schemes, matrix programs, other "get rich quick" schemes or certain multi-level marketing programs, (c) are associated with purchases of annuities or lottery contracts, lay-away systems, off-shore banking or transactions to finance or refinance debts funded by a credit card, (d) are for the sale of certain items before the seller has control or possession of the item, (e) are by payment processors to collect payments on behalf of merchants, (f) are associated with the sale of traveler's checks or money orders, (g) involve currency exchanges or check cashing businesses, (h) involve certain credit repair, debt settlement services, credit transactions or insurance activities, or (i) involve offering or receiving payments for the purpose of bribery or corruption."

 

https://www.paypal.com/nz/webapps/mpp/ua/acceptableuse-fullhttps://www.paypal.com/nz/webapps/mpp/ua/acceptableuse-full

 

I asked if he had received approval from Paypal to conduct the business in the manner in which he was intending to. He didn't know what I was talking about. I explained to him what was involved in taking payments on behalf and it sounds like I ruined his day :-(

 

But I am quite disgusted. His professional(?) web developer ought to know about this. It's in Paypal's and every bank's T&C's I have ever come across.

 

It is possible to get approval to take payments on behalf (Think Trademe, Ali, 2nd tier processors, etc) but it's no trivial matter.

 

I am interested in comments.


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  Reply # 2094003 20-Sep-2018 18:20
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Was this a unsolicited caller?

 

John





Ex JohnR VodafoneNZ 17 years 4 days



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  Reply # 2094019 20-Sep-2018 18:22
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Linux:

 

Was this a unsolicited caller?

 

John

 

 

He was responding to a post I had placed in another forum.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2094134 20-Sep-2018 20:46
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MichaelNZ:

 

Today I received a call from a gentleman promoting a startup website. His motivations and mission sounded good so I was inclined to support it.

 

But partway through the call, it became obvious his understanding of what was involved in launching a website was rather green. So I did some digging.

 

It quickly became apparent he was going to use Paypal to accept payments on behalf of merchants.

 

...

 

But I am quite disgusted. His professional(?) web developer ought to know about this. It's in Paypal's and every bank's T&C's I have ever come across.

 

 

What is a professional Web developer? I don't expect a Web developer to know anything about PayPal or bank T&C's. I'd expect them to know how to create a Website using a specific set of technologies identified by the business or technologies suitable to meet business objectives. Suitability of third party integration is the responsibility of the business, not the dev, unless the dev is specifically advising on such matters.

 

I spent a chunk of my career developing and testing content filtering proxies, so I have a solid understanding of how Websites work on the back-end. I am in that sense a professional Web developer, yet I can barely write HTML, loathe CSS and JavaScript, and have no reason to concern myself with PayPal T&C (except that one time when they billed me in the wrong currency). Oh, and my personal Website uses a CGI application written in C :)




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  Reply # 2094152 20-Sep-2018 20:56
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

What is a professional Web developer? I don't expect a Web developer to know anything about PayPal or bank T&C's. I'd expect them to know how to create a Website using a specific set of technologies identified by the business or technologies suitable to meet business objectives. Suitability of third party integration is the responsibility of the business, not the dev, unless the dev is specifically advising on such matters.

 

 

Obviously, I was not privvy to the conversations between him and the web dev though based on what was told to me I am unimpressed.

 

In any case, I am of the strong conviction a web dev (or any professional for that matter) has a "duty of care" and it's plainly obvious to me this guy (ie: the client) does not understand the scope of what he trying to pull off.

 

Yes, I have turned down tech business and disengaged previously - at financial loss to myself - because the client would not heed my advice about the fraught areas with their business plan. In the most memorable occasion they went out of business around 18 months later - for entirely predictable reasons.

 

It's not easy telling people their great idea is not so great - and they are sometimes offended (note - I'm talking in general here not specifically about this time), but my conscience is clear.


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  Reply # 2094164 20-Sep-2018 22:08
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I work with a bunch of web devs.. and I can tell you that they wouldn't have the faintest idea about things like that. Ditto server infrastructure.. networking.. security.. and when they do delve into those things without knowing better, things get messy. It's the businesses responsibility to have the support infrastructure around the devs to handle all those things. 





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  Reply # 2094210 21-Sep-2018 00:11
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It's not a registered profession as far as I am aware, so anyone can call themselves a web dev or similar. Even the kid next door could call themselves one and have learnt enough to be one. 


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  Reply # 2094211 21-Sep-2018 00:18
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To make a comparison, should an accountant have knowledge of all laws pertaining to running a business in any business segment?

 

I don't even expect my accountant to be expert in all parts of tax law, much less give me insightful advice on health and safety.

 

In this case I don't think the web developer should have had to have knowledge of T&Cs for Paypal. That was the part the customer here should have researched him/herself.





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  Reply # 2094212 21-Sep-2018 00:28
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Its known in the industry as factoring, and you will be hard pushed to find any Bank (let alone a payment service like paypal) willing to allow that especially for a startup. It is a great way to make money, but has massive risks which are ultimately worn by the bank, so they are just not willing. 

 

Developers see problems and come up with solutions.  You can see how this individual thought he was on to a winner, given he has the skills to make the systems take payments on behalf. Welcome to the wild west of entrepreneurs :D 


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  Reply # 2094217 21-Sep-2018 06:39
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MichaelNZ:

 

It is possible to get approval to take payments on behalf (Think Trademe, Ali, 2nd tier processors, etc) but it's no trivial matter.

 

 

From having looked into it a bit in the past, it looks a lot easier on Stripe. If it's some kind of C2C marketplace there are several good pre-built options out there like Near Me and Sharetribe that handle a lot of the complexity. Sharetribe is even open source so a good RoR dev could kick off with that as a start rather than from scratch..

 

But yes, you would expect a web-dev worth their salt to know how to research and explain these things and deal with payments.





 


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  Reply # 2094248 21-Sep-2018 08:38
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Lias:

 

I work with a bunch of web devs.. and I can tell you that they wouldn't have the faintest idea about things like that. Ditto server infrastructure.. networking.. security.. and when they do delve into those things without knowing better, things get messy. It's the businesses responsibility to have the support infrastructure around the devs to handle all those things. 

 

 

 

 

This is my experience as well, can be frustrating.


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