Online cash processor PayPal bans vape payments leaving vaping businesses and individuals locked out of their accounts for up to 180 days.
The shock move, that hits without warning, means many already under pressure vape companies cannot access their hard earned cash – loading yet more strain on them as the insanity of global COVID-19 lockdowns continue to wreak economic havoc.
My understanding is the company originally stated it wasn’t its decision – rather other payment processors refusing to accept payments for vape goods.
However it’s flipped on that now saying it’s PayPal’s updated policy – a more frustrating company to deal with would be hard to find….
No matter who’s to blame, at a time when we’re all struggling due to the suicidal lockdown policies, this was the last thing vape businesses both big and small needed.
It’s happened close to home too and has meant hours upon hours of finding a replacement payment method – cancelling automatic payments and contacting vendors.
Like I said, the last thing we all needed given the current situation.
I ran over 150 websites at one point in the last few years and know from personal – and bitter – experience how hard it is to deal with the faceless company – getting any kind of meaningful contact is nigh on impossible.
PayPal Bans Vape Payments – the Industry Responds
John Dunne, Director of the UK Vaping Industry Association [UKVIA] tweeted:
Yeah I have been discussing this issue directly with PayPal for a number of weeks now. Issue is stemming from outside of PayPal’s control with their payment processors and new restrictions/requirements due to the reclassification of vaping by some of these processors.
— John Dunne (@Jdunne9407uk) November 20, 2020
However, and according to David Gilberts from SuperGood e-liquid, it’s PayPal slamming down the ban hammer.
He told Vapouround Magazine:
Cash is king and holding any small business’ cash is detrimental to their ability to run.
They do not want to facilitate the sale of any vape related products.
They feel there is not enough scientific evidence to ensure the products are safe.
The science is there for all to see!
How can we rely on them in the future after this stunt?
It is clear they want to wash their hands with us, so we will do the same with them.
Online vape shop Creme de Vape was another hit and said:
Over the last few weeks, PayPal has been busy shutting down PayPal accounts associated with Vape companies.
Today it was our turn, after 11 years using their services, they shut down our account without warning!
Fortunately, we’d already been preparing an alternative payment option which we were able to launch within hours of PayPal closing our account.
Fastech based in China, that sells a whole raft of products and not just vape gear has also been hit and said:
We’re very sorry to inform you that PayPal officially revised the Acceptable Use Policy regarding e-cigarette related products, transactions involving most of the e-cigarette products will be prohibited from now.
Other payment methods such as cryptocurrencies and gift cards are not affected. Non-e-cigarette products on our website are also not affected.
PayPal claims that e-cigarettes belong to activities requiring approval. But the fact is there is no way we can get the pre-approval after confirming with PayPal.
Technically there is a way to appeal the PayPal vape accounts lockdown.
According to PayPal’s updated Acceptable Use Policy that is, which states Pre-Approval is required for:
Providing file sharing services or access to newsgroups; or selling alcoholic beverages, non-cigarette tobacco products, e-cigarettes or prescription drugs/devices.
Seems pretty clear – but is it?
One USA based e-liquid company recently asked for pre-approval which PayPal denied adding:
Under PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used for the sale of e-cigarettes, including e-liquids containing nicotine, without pre-approval.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer pre-approval for you at this time; this is due to complex legal and payment industry requirements related to e-cigarettes.
As you can see from that, dealing with or appealing to PayPal is always, shall we say ‘frustrating‘ to say the least – even if you play by the rules.
Urgent Need For A Powerful Global Vape Advocacy Group?
Right at the start I mentioned this was the last thing vape business’ needed – as to how many will now be forced to closed due to a lack of cash flow is anyone’s guess.
Over the last decade or so the vaping industry has been beleaguered by all sides and there seems to be no sign of a let up, with this being just another kick in the boll**ks when we’re on our knees and fighting back.
I really and mean really hope in the coming months – the vape industry gets together and takes on the anti-vaping lobby and I mean really take them on in the form of some kind of global advocacy group.
Together they represent a global market worth $15.07 BILLION this year alone – and climbing all the time.
Now that is the basis of a powerful lobby group IF – but only IF they/we band together.
It’s time to get off the back foot and take on these un-elected tech corporations – ignorant politicians – an unbelieveably biased mainstream media – the crazed screeching anti-vaping soccer mom groups and of course the EU and those blinkered fools over at the World Health Organization.
Vaping has lost very many battles – but the war ain’t over yet – but only IF as I said, some kind of global advocacy organization backed by the big vape companies is formed.
So…who’s going to start one..?
Whoever it may be, for goodness sake please hurry – the very survival of companies and most importantly smokers and vapers depends on it.