Well, “journey” might be overselling it a little, but I’m not yet at the end so who knows!
Basically, as some of you who know me or have read other bits of my blog will know, I subscribe to Hulu (among other services) which is a geo-restricted service locked down to the US.
Geo-restriction is pretty easy to overcome. As I mention in another article, there are a bunch of services out there to assist. I’ve used Unblock-US in the past but currently use MediaHint. It works great and has a browser plugin that helps when on the go (not at home with my permanent setup). However, Hulu requires a little more than looking like you’re accessing it from the US; it requires a US credit card also!
For around a year now I’ve been using Entropay, which gives you a virtual US credit card to run pre-pay. It also worked great for the last year (with the exception that my NZ based bank requires disabling some security to top it up as they deem it a suspicious site), however, the card has now hit its expiry date so I’ve gone to Hulu to update the card info… only to find it no longer accepts it! I’ve recently also had a go at setting up a US iTunes account with the same issue that iTunes wouldn’t accept the Entropay card as US based. I’ve no idea why, or what they use to determine such things, but it just didn’t work!
So, I’ve done some looking around to see what other services are out there. The list has certainly grown since I first looked! This time, I’m having a go at Payoneer. I decided I’d document a little of how it goes to help other people evaluating it also.
Thursday 11 – Morning
So far I’ve signed up on the Payoneer site and handed over a bunch of detail. It expects that you’re not in the US so you don’t have to fudge details for any of that, and apparently, they are now sending me a physical US issued MasterCard! They offer a service to help people receive payments from all over the world, and have a couple of options on how to make use of received funds – and this is one of them.
They ask for some “government issued ID” – I’ve given them a drivers licence. Although they took this detail and rapidly approved my account request, after I topped up the card (basically by requesting a payment from myself for some fictional service) I got another email asking for info on my business (service or product based, refund policy, website etc.) as well as a scanned copy of my licence. If I hadn’t heard enough good stuff about this place I’d be a little dubious already, but I’m confident enough that it’s legit that I’ve provided the necessary detail and am awaiting the deposit of my “received funds” in my US account.
I requested a payment of $20USD as the “seller”, and as the “buyer”, I had the option to either pay the transaction fee myself on top of the $20 or deduct it from the seller’s payment. I chose the former as it doesn’t really matter given I’m both parties, but for reference it was $0.62 fee, which I assume is some percentage calculation of the payment amount.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. Now we wait… Or I wait anyway because you probably don’t care THAT much!