B2B payment channel blockade may close Wikileaks – the importance of easy payment methods

There is probably no shortage of individuals worldwide who would be willing to donate to Wikileaks. But it is the B2B payment channel that has the Wikileaks organization in trouble. B2B payment channel organizations like Visa,Mastercard,PayPal, Western Union  and Bank of America have not been processing donations to Wikileaks since December 2010. The way on-line donations or any payment process works is:

Donor—>Payment Channel (Visa,Mastercard,PayPay,Western Union)—–> Wikileaks

And the  middle piece-the payment channel is not co-operating with Wikileaks.The Wikileaks website offers some alternative donation channels  but obviously they are lesser well-known and therefore raise the question of trust in online transactions for the donor.  Wikileaks founder Julian Asange claims that 95% donations are down.Obviously the alternative payment channels are not as effective as the standard credit card companies.

Sort of underlines the importance of  easy payment methods. An individual wants to donate to your cause or wants to buy your product or service and if making payments is difficult- well you have just lost the sale. Extending this logic is the rationale for financing large consumer purchases like homes and cars or business purchases like equipment and machinery. The more difficult financing becomes, i.e. credit is harder or more expensive – the customer has to back off and the sale does not occur. Hence the constant discussion world-wide on credit availability and interest rates. For easy payments are the last mile of the transaction. If the check is in the mail for any reason– the supplier has still not made the sale !

Here are two questions to ask whether you are on the account payable side (buyer) or on the account receivable (seller) side:

  • What are our payment methods?
  • How popular is a payment method with the buyer/seller?

Today many US gas stations charge more for credit card payments and merchants recognize that many customers simply go elsewhere. If Wikileaks is unable to sort out its payment channel problems soon – its donors are likely to find other causes to support.

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