Hey ptalfred I see where you come from and I should have been more in depth indeed. PayPal has very different terms and conditions in every country around the world. This is apparently due to conveniences they care for themselves.
From the terms and conditions of PayPal UK on “Glossary”:
A4.3 A " Domestic " payment occurs when both the sender and receiver are registered with PayPal as resident in the same country.
A4.4 A “ Cross Border ” payment occurs when the sender and receiver are registered with PayPal as resident in different countries. Certain countries are grouped together as follows for ease of reference when calculating Cross Border payment Fees[…]
Indeed inside of the European Union there’s usually no fee charged for “personal transactions” of either “domestic” or “cross border” payments that occur inside of European borders as long as no currency change occurs.
Now that that’s out of the way. What is a personal transaction? Again from the terms and conditions of PayPal UK on “Glossary”:
A4.1 A " Commercial Transaction " payment involves buying and selling goods and services, making any other commercial transaction or receiving payments when you “request money” using PayPal.
A4.2 A " Personal Transaction " payment involves sending money (initiated from the “Friends and Family” tab of the “Send Money” flow) to, and receiving money into your PayPal Account from, friends and family without making an underlying commercial transaction (that is, the payment is not for the purchase of goods or services or for making any other commercial transaction).
If you are making a commercial transaction (for instance selling goods or services), you may not ask the buyer to send you a Personal Transaction payment for the purchase. If you do so, PayPal may remove your ability to accept any or all payments for Personal Transactions.
Ok now that’s defined as well. This is where you step in and would like to receive your Pling payout as “personal transaction” (I suppose we all would like that, actually I’m German and have a german PayPal account as well as a US one because I actually live in Mexico). As you mentioned yourself opendesktop and Pling are officially registered as commercial business (GmbH is german for “Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung” which is a legal title for a commercial trade business). So any transaction made by opendesktop clearly classifies as commercial in the sense of terms and conditions and their account would most probably not be accepted as personal by PayPal. Actually a business account does not even have the option to “send to friends and family” to avoid abuse.
So starting from here if opendesktop was to pay from a german paypal business account and I received their commercial transaction to my german personal paypal account, only while I received less than 2,000€ each month, PayPayl would deduct a so called “variable fee” of 2,49% plus a “fixed fee” of 0.35€. Let’s say I received 100€ Pling Payout in this situation then I would end up with 97.16€
Now opendesktop chose to base Pling on USD instead of EUR, which apparently is their decision to begin with. Since this platform is used world wide it may be a logical choice to make, that’s apparently a matter of decision making and business convenience from their side.
The opendesktop staff moderating the forums and content most probably has little to do with this kind of decision (depending on their employees structure which I am not aware of).
Any business has to look for their own monetary convenience even more so in a situation where people like to receive but not to give back. I would not consider this suspicious but an essential need of a business. As a business grows it can shift models and practices to accommodate for user/consumer experience but all too often they decide not to and instead harvest profits (often achieved by tax evasion, which is not even suspicious but strictly legal and even considered good practice).
Now it’s up to every one of us to decide if we want to conform or disagree. If we disagree we should look at ways to live without the service/product in question instead of pointing fingers (my personal opinion).
Now going even further I would also like to receive more with less fees, but PayPal was probably chosen because it’s the major e-money platform around the globe with an easy to implement API. Maybe we could see other alternatives in the future? Who knows. Definitely a whole lot of work and administration from their side. Imagine all the different financial declarations on different platforms to keep track of…
I would also like to see PayPal adapt better to alternative payment models, as we don’t sell any services here but that would require opendesktop to change their business model to an organisation or similar and maybe miss out on other benefits they may have currently (again not informed well enough).
You see there’s way more to this than just the type of PayPal account. I am obviously neither speaking for opendesktop. I just think it is not at all suspicious from their end to not give a detailed answer on their business model.
From my point I hope this helps defend opendesktop a little bit as I think it’s a really tough project since monetary involvement. But hey, we could always go back to complete non-paid open source, can we?