Open Collective
Open Collective
Paypal payouts paused for expenses
Published on August 24, 2022 by Alanna Irving

Open Collective Foundation is experiencing a Paypal outage. We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, but it looks like it may take a couple weeks. We're very sorry for delays this is causing to payouts.

This only affects paying out expenses via Paypal. Incoming contributions through Paypal and expense payouts by bank transfer are not affected.

Existing Paypal expenses

We ask anyone currently waiting on an expense payment via Paypal to change your expense payout method to bank transfer.

Here's how:
Go to your expense and click actions > edit, then change the payout method to bank account, input your bank account info, and click save. Instructions are in the docs here.

The info you need to fill out looks like this:
Please note, once edited, an expense must be approved again by a Collective admin.

Options for unbanked folks
If you don't have a bank account to use for receiving expenses, there are some services that will give you access to direct deposits, such as Venmo and Cash App (and even PayPal). These services will generate bank account details you can then input on Open Collective.

These services look like:
Please note, this is not a payment directly from OCF on Venmo or Cash App, but a normal bank transfer payment these services receive on your behalf.

If you can't receive bank transfers

The other options are:
  1. Wait until we can resolve this issue
  2. Request a manual payout 
If you urgently need to be paid and Paypal is your only option, please comment below the expense, or email [email protected] with a link to your expense, stating that you need a manual Paypal payout. We will action requests for manual payouts as quickly as possible, but it's a slower process so we ask for your patience.

We will also be contacting users with outstanding Paypal expenses directly via email, and via comments on their expenses, to ensure they are informed of these changes.

New Paypal expenses

We have turned off Paypal as an option for payout method on new expenses. Please advise all expense submitters to select the bank transfer payout option instead.

If the situation is urgent and bank transfer payment is not possible, please email [email protected] and we will assist you with a manual payment if possible.

Sorry again for the frustration this situation may be causing. We will continue to try to resolve it as quickly as possible and we ask for your understanding and patience. Thank you, from the OCF team.
😕  2

Symbiosis PDX

Posted on September 5, 2022

Any ETA of when paypal payments will be resumed?

Mike Strode (OCF)

Posted on September 5, 2022

No. This is an indefinite pause that will depend on when PayPal fixes an issue with our account on their end. The problem only impacts collectives hosted by OCF so I am not sure how Symbiosis PDX is impacted as you are hosted by All For Climate. 

Benjamin Melançon

Posted on September 6, 2022

Any attention being paid to extending payout capabilities to Cashapp or stored-value debit cards, digital and/or physical?  Either or both those would be absolutely huge for Minneapolis Northside Mutual Aid, and probably many other unbanked people using Open Collectives, even if PayPal were to resume working tomorrow.

Seems like a very good time to prioritize putting efforts to add those additional options into overdrive.

Whatever the problem now is, PayPal is not a corporation that can be trusted long-term (although admittedly payouts to Paypal-owned Venmo would also be helpful to many people and probably still be separate from the current issue with PayPal proper).
👍️  2

Alanna Irving

Posted on September 6, 2022

Yes, Paypal is not our fav, to be frank. We'd love to move on to other options. Venmo does not allow nonprofits to sign up, unfortunately. However, unbanked people are welcome to use the direct deposit features of Venmo, Payoneer, Paypal, and other services, which generate bank transfer details we can send to from Open Collective, and credit the transferred funds to your account in the app. You can use cards in a couple ways already, either gift cards via Cash Assistance, or virtual cards for expenses. Cashapp is something we've looked into but haven't had the capacity to work on integrating. I will continue to follow that up though because it would be great to have available.
👍️  1

Thijs Triemstra

Posted on September 8, 2022

huh; is this info still up to date? i did a paypal payout a few days ago and it’s not showing up in my account. are you really allowing people to use paypal with opencollective when in fact it’s not working? wtf why not shut down the paypal feature when it’s not working? confused and waiting for my money..
👀  1👍️  1

Alanna Irving

Posted on September 8, 2022

Thijs, it looks like the Collective you work with is under Open Source Collective. The Paypal pause is only affecting Collectives under Open Collective Foundation. They are separate organizations with separate Paypal accounts.

Seth Benton

Posted on October 17, 2023

Realize there's a lot of crypto hate these days, and understand why they shut it off (compliance overhead). But this is a great example of why it works for many. There is literally no bank that can shut off transfers. Truly decentralized and not censoring activist groups either.