Last night, I received an email from Paypal notifying me that, starting on March 31st, Paypal customers in Japan will be unable to send personal payments to individuals using the PayPal “send money” service until further notice. They say these changes are necessary in order for them to comply with new regulatory requirements in Japan.
Hello Clement Nyirenda,
Thank you for being a valued PayPal user.
We wish to inform you that effective 31 March 2010, you will not be able to send funds using the “Send Money” function for non-commercial transactions only, until further notice.
The changes to our personal payment services are necessary in order for us to comply with new regulatory requirements in Japan. This does not affect anyone outside of Japan sending money to any Japanese residents.
Please note that you will also continue to be able to shop online and use the PayPal services for the payment of goods and services as you normally would.
This restriction of services only applies to non-commercial transactions such as the sending of money to a family member for living allowance.
We deeply regret any inconvenience this temporary restriction of service may cause you.
We will update you as to when our personal payment services will be available again.
We thank you for your continued support.
I used this facility a few weeks ago to send some 3000 Yen to a friend, based in Yokohama, who wanted to buy some VoIP credit and he paid me back in cash. He does not have his own credit card as yet. I guess the discontinuation of this service will force him to apply for his own credit card.
In light of these changes, I have a few questions. If I use the option for non-commercial transactions to send money to a friend or a relative, will the system be able to detect it? And why does the Japanese government still allow personal payments from abroad? Isn’t this a way of preventing the Yens from leaving Japan while at the same time ensuring that the country continues to receive money from abroad?