This change in policy caught us by surprise as well, and it seems PayPal's front-line support personnel may be ill-informed about it and giving out conflicting or incorrect information, so we sent an inquiry to our inside liaison at PayPal for clarification.
Apparently, merchants who have used Mass Payments previously should be grandfathered-in to continue using it, but merchants wishing to use it for the first time need to be approved by PayPal. Here's what our liaison at PayPal has explained about their change in policy regarding Mass Payments [and I've added some comments in brackets like this]:
PayPal says:PayPal has recently changed the enablement process for MassPay as customers must now meet certain eligibility requirements to use this feature. This policy was implemented by our Risk department to ensure we first â€˜knowâ€™ the customer using the feature.
To be eligible for MassPay, the following criteria must be met:
- Must be a Business or Premier PayPal account [i.e., not a basic Personal account, and it's a good idea to upgrade your account to Business anyway, for a variety of reasons];
- The account must be in good standing (i.e. no limitations or restrictions);
- The account must be managed by a PayPal Merchant/Business Support group. To qualify for Business Support, the merchant needs to process approximately $3,000 in sales per month or $35K per year [We have heard from a merchant saying they qualified by having $3k in sales for a single month in the past year.];
The one exception to the above is if the merchant has been approved for Website Payments Pro. As this product [PayPal Pro] requires upfront vetting from PayPal Risk/Compliance, if the merchant has been approved and the account remains in good standing, they are eligible for MassPay regardless of monthly sales volume.
Merchants will need to contact PayPal to have MassPay enabled. If the merchant is managed by a PayPal Account Manager or Associate Account Management group, they would contact this designated individual/team. If the merchant is not managed by one of these groups (or just isnâ€™t sure), they may contact PayPal Business Support at 888-215-5506 to discuss MassPay eligibility.
The gap I see applies to non-Pro, new PayPal merchants as they may not be eligible for MassPay initially. Once the $3K in monthly sales volume has been met and the account remains in good standing, we should be able to activate MassPay on our end.
I do apologize for the confusion caused by this new policy. Please let me know if you have additional questions. If you have a particular merchant you would like special consideration for, you can always send me the PayPal email address and I can escalate to Risk to see what can be done (no guarantees, but Iâ€™m certainly willing to try).
If you are not using PayPal Pro, have not used PayPal Mass Payments previously, and did not have sales volume through PayPal of $3k for any month in the past year, send an email to our Support team about it, and we'll try to work with PayPal to grant you access to Mass Payments:
Worst case scenario:
If you don't qualify, you can simply open your monthly masspay.txt file and use that as a reference to send out commission payments manually, one at a time, through PayPal or by any other means you wish. Most merchants using our affiliate system have only a handful of active affiliates actually earning commission in any given month, so by the time they have enough active affiliates that manual commission payments would be unreasonably tedious, they're probably doing over $3k/mo in business through PayPal anyway.
We do apologize for how this unexpected and unannounced change in PayPal's policy may inconvenience you, and we are also investigating the feasibility of whether some sort of alternate mass pay-out method may be possible and practical to develop.