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Cash: use it or lose it!
Is this the last decade of cash? The corona pandemic is not helping. Belgian media is picking up the Australian news about the coronavirus found active 28 days on banknotes, without understanding that the 28 days is on the Australian polymer and paper banknotes, while Euro banknotes are made of cotton fibers on which the coronavirus gets inactive rather quick. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-euro-banknotes-safe-coronavirus-ecb.html You are touching so much in shops, including the pay terminals everyone is touching, that cash won't add much risk. Until this year, I used to not care, and pay everything electronically. But in March I became the victim of an identity theft. My bank account was frozen, my bank cards and payment app blocked. Opening new bank accounts or credit cards was impossible due to being on a blacklist. My employer could not pay my salary in cash. For most professions this is forbidden by law since 2016. Friends lent me cash. But I discovered cash was refused at supermarkets, shops, public transport, parkings, fuel stations, hospital, physiotherapist, online webshops, Uber, Deliveroo, etc. Sometimes because of corona anxiety, but often already from before 2020. Prepaid cards could be a nice solution. But even while they are debit cards, in Belgium they seem to be refused where credit cards are refused, since they are Visa or Mastercards cards. These are refused in many Belgium places, since merchants don't like the higher costs. Not many prepaid cards allow charging with cash. And their availability is in recent decline: this year at least the following prepaid cards stopped or are announced to stop: Carrefour prepaid Flex card, BNP and Hello. The decline might be due to new very strict EU anti-money laundering laws. The anonymous prepaid cards (and generic gift cards) are now restricted to 100 euro maximum recharge in their lifetime and 50 euro payments. Cryptocurrencies are also in theory a nice solution. But their acceptance in Belgium is extremely limited. Thanks to Takeaway accepting bitcoin, I could order delivery from many local snack restaurants. But I discovered that bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, while having an "anonymous" reputation, are actually only pseudonymous and extremely open and transparent: for every transaction the origin address, destination address, amount and timestamp are recorded for eternity in a public ledger for everyone open to consult. When I buy something, the merchant can see how many coins I have in my wallet address. Buying, spending or selling coins are activities that can get your name connected to your addresses. Developers try to solve this privacy issue, but I'm afraid the war on anonymity (related to the war on cash) will crush that before cryptocurrency payments become popular. So, my identity theft experience has awakened me: sharing your personal details in so many places caries a lot of danger. Think about it: while the law became more strict, there are still many (online) shops and restaurants taking knowledge of your credit card number, expiry date, CCV and your name. That's still enough information to do fraudulent payments in many places. The cashless society is a surveillance society, with every payment traced. And it creates a lot of dependencies: electricity, internet, and permission by the banking and payment system. Once you are on a blacklist, even if you did nothing wrong, but somebody pretended to be you and did fraudulent payments, you are screwed for at least months. So, now that I'm finally off the blacklist, I opened several bank accounts. That will not help for all issues, but still: having only 1 bank is really dangerous. And from now on I pay everything possible with cash. Not just to keep my personal details safe, but also to keep the cash usage statistics high. Did you notice that the financial sector is regulary reporting the cash withdrawals decline? They report both the total amount withdrawn and the number of withdrawals. I learned that the bank and payment processors are fighting a war on cash and they are actively lobbying the government for a reduction of the cash payment limit to 50 euro. Yes, an insane fifty euro! The banks are lazy about cash and want to impose negative rent without risking a bankrun. No cash is no bankrun. The payment processors just love the percentage they get from every payment. Currently the acceptance of euro banknotes and coins for debts is compulsory by European law. But many merchants violated the law and we had at least one Belgian minister ignoring the enforcement. See e.g. this article from 2019: https://www.bruzz.be/samenleving/no-cash-doet-intrede-brusselse-horeca-2019-05-10. The law has exceptions, e.g. for security reasons such as a pandemic. After the pandemic I will try to report all cash refusing merchants. Merchants that refuse to accept cash payments can be reported at https://meldpunt.belgie.be or https://pointdecontact.belgique.be/. But I guess it is better to wait until after the pandemic. We need to defend the right to use cash. And a crucial action to avoid the end of cash is to keep using it as much as possible. Every time you pay with a bank card or app, you contribute to a cashless future where:
banks, payment processors and government have total control over your finances (see protestors in Hong Kong preferring cash payments).
every financial transaction is monitored and logged forever.
your financial data will be used to calculate your social credit (already happening in China, that is eager to export that concept and technology).
every payment can be blocked (already happening with webcam sex workers).
personae non gratae can be totally financially blocked.
tourists have a hard time paying. E.g. in China, most payments, including toilets, need to be done with the WeChat app, but without Chinese bankaccount it's hard to enable WeChat payments.
you are in trouble when electricity, networks or payment systems go down.
banks can easily charge negative rent because you can't withdraw your money.
when banks or governments are in need of money, they easily take a percentage of your money (like they did in Cyprus with the bank deposits above 100000 euro, and as they initially wanted to do under 100000 euro too).
people spend more, up to the level financial mismanagement, because cashless payments disconnect the pleasure of buying from the pain of paying. Studies show that psychological effect already. See e.g. "consumers are more likely to buy unhealthy food products when they pay by credit card than when they pay in cash." in https://academic.oup.com/jcarticle-abstract/38/1/126/1798815
homeless people and charities are less able to get donations. Experiments and data are showing the effect already now people are carrying less cash.
Payment options for Canadian performers and sellers
So this question comes up a lot and I thought it was worth making a separate post about it to try and get all the information in one place. While there are many great resources on the various camming and selling subreddits regarding payment options, none of them are specific to Canadian sellers as far as I know. Please make sure you familiarize yourself with those, though, because they have information about the safety of your money and your identity/privacy when using each service. Transparency Statement Apps and services I have personally used will be indicated within. I also want to note that I was given a $10 Polyalpha gift card by a fellow Redditor and seller for a chance to try the service (it was a public offer given in a comment thread). I do not anticipate bias because of this, but it has given me information about the service that I would not have otherwise had. Disclaimer This post is for information purposes only and nothing I say should be construed as an endorsement. Similarly, the focus of this post is on payment options for Canadian models. There are a lot more things to consider as you do your research, so please keep in mind that this is not intended to be a comprehensive resource and take the time to double-check how each works when it comes to personal safety and anonymity in particular. I have broken this down into two tables – one for third-party apps that Canadians can use to receive direct payment from individual buyers, and one that gives the lowdown on getting paid from various content/cam sites. Note that many of the options in Table 2 are also payment processors or can be used as such. Table 1. Third-party apps for receiving direct payment. >>Options in bold require that you have a US-based checking account<< See next section for more information.
Currency options for receiving payment
Payment options for buyers
EUR, GBP, USD
Must have Paxum
Prepaid card; to US bank account
Poor quality info online; nonexistent customer service
ePayments - I did not include this here for a couple of reasons. One, they can no longer process payments in USD. Two, their verification process, app, and customer service were super frustrating. Three, it's still not clear to me if I can accept crypto payments here or if I could only pay myself in crypto out of an existing wallet and use ePayments for currency exchange. I've seen other sellers indicate ePayments as a payment method so maybe someone else could provide additional info in the comments.
Payoneer - Omitted due to absurd restrictions and fees. a) For example, your billing address has to match the national currency you are using for your withdrawal currency, meaning your billing address would have to be in the US in order to withdraw in USD. That means that a Canadian model with a US-based account wouldn't be able to set up withdrawals into their US account. b) Fees are quite high, especially considering most other options are free.
PolyAlpha – The website only shows PayPal as a payment option to buy the gift vouchers but both PayPal and CashApp were indicated in a Reddit comment from someone involved with the service
CashApp, Venmo, and Square Cash – some Redditors have indicated that it’s possible to register for these services if you are using a VPN. CashApp, for example, has transaction maximums for unverified accounts of $1000/month and $250/week, so as long as you are below these amounts then you wouldn't have to verify a US address. I can’t attest to this but wanted to mention it as a potential option for those with a US-based bank account.
Processing times – I left these out in the interests of having a read-able table but they are not all instant. In general, most are within one day or less except direct deposit from GiftRocket. Please research the source links for more information. Also note that processing times at US banks seem to be much slower than what we are used to – just a heads up.
Opening a US Checking Account To my knowledge, TD and RBC are the only banks where this is possible. In order to take advantage of the payment options I’ve identified in bold in Table 1 and Table 2, it is imperative that you open a US-based checking account and not just a USD account through your home branch. The difference is that a US-based checking account is tied to a branch that has a physical location in the US. I opened mine through RBC and it was relatively painless. I opened a Canadian checking account online but had to go to a branch to provide ID verification. This is required in order to open the US account. Next I called them to open the US-based account. You can do this at any branch as well, but I was told that it takes longer to open this way. Over the phone, it was instant. My accounts are linked through my online banking portal and RBC banking app, allowing me to transfer myself money easily and instantly. They also sent me a Visa Debit for my US account, which took about two weeks to arrive. Table 2. Payment methods for Canadian sellers and performers on various cam/content sites. I have omitted all instances of wire transfers (because they are slow, expensive, and usually have high payout minimums) and all instances of cheques (because they are slow). I have omitted all mention of ePayments because they no longer accept payments in USD.
Certain types of information were omitted for the sake of brevity. Of particular interest may be payout percentages, payout procedures, and payout intervals.
TL;DR Get a US-based bank account, Paxum, and Shakepay. I am open to questions, comments, and concerns! I would like this resource to be as tight as possible so be sure to let me know if you see any issues or gaps.
I was told this would be "fast", and "easy". So far it's been neither.
EDIT:This problem has been solved, thanks! I am just gonna have a friend do it for me using her bank account and then send me the BTC. I've been trying to buy a part of a bitcoin for 2 days now. I got my wallet synced and all that, I've made accounts at several of the places I've been told would sell me bitcoins, I've even gone as far as to verify my identity (strange for a currency that is supposed to be somewhat anonymous, but whatever) with the people at circle.com. None of these sites will allow me to actually buy any bitcoins though. I keep getting all sorts of errors and my card (a Visa Greendot prepaid) is not being accepted. This currency is lauded as being a "hassle free" solution for online/international transactions, but that is like the opposite of the experience I am having. I just want to buy like .6 BTC, and I've been trying to for two full days now. Is there a simple, fast, and easy way for me to get some BTC in exchange for the USD I have on my debit card or not?
Hey there, apologizes if this question seems overly simple. I am trying to purchase bitcoin and I am having a hard time doing so. I bought a prepaid VISA debit (gift) card because I thought that it would be a great way to stay anonymous with my purchase of Bitcoin. Upon looking into it, it appears that it is actually pretty difficult to buy with a gift card. Do you know of website which would accept a git card as payment? I would like to stay anonymous, but I am starting to realize that it may be easier said than done. At this point I am not overly concerned, but I would like to protect my privacy if possible. If I bought using my ID, could I transfer the coins to a dummy account and then use the dummy account to buy Bitcoin? Can you recommended a good site for purchasing Bitcoin? Thanks for your help.
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