Why have Skype changed PayPal payments?

Skype & PayPalSo it seems that unless you have a Visa card of some kind, you can no longer top-up your Skype credit through your PayPal account. I’d always had problems trying to top up credit via PayPal in Skype for as long as I can remember. It seemed to always want me to provide a card number even though PayPal has nothing to do with my bank accounts. It’s supposed to be an entirely different way of paying money to conventional banking – that’s precisely why I liked PayPal in the first place. I’ve thought for years that Skype was constantly trying to “trick” me into providing some kind of card details because every time I ever tried to top-up via the client, I would be prompted for some card details. However, I found that if you topped up credit via the Skype website, rather than via the client, you could get round this problem. The money would simply be taken from your PayPal account, no questions asked.

Well today I found that even that route is now cut off – you can no longer top-up your Skype Out credit via PayPal without providing some kind of credit or debit card number. After you’ve logged into your PayPal account during the payment procedure, it then prompts you with:

To complete your purchase, please add a new credit card or debit card.

Why they need this, I have no idea because the money still comes out of your PayPal account but I bet it’s got something to do with making it easier for them to identify exactly who you are. A quick Google search revealed a forum of angry Skype users who like me, were annoyed that they had to provide details that neither Skype nor PayPal have any business asking them. And then there are those unfortunate users that don’t have a credit card of any kind – what are they supposed to do?

I never like giving my card details to any entity on the internet, especially when I know that they are not really needed and will probably be stored on a Skype/PayPal database even after I close the account. Surely the internet is supposed to be about providing alternative ways of banking and transactions than in the outside world? This is a major step backwards for Skype and PayPal in my opinion – bring back the carrier pigeon.

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