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So, this is the deal, apparently. About a year ago, Linden Lab entered into a deal with 888/Dragonfish – a payments processor and online gambling firm – to handle overseas payments processing for Second Life. It isn’t clear exactly when they started doing business. If Dragonfish (thanks folks!) hadn’t sent me information about it at the time, it would have slipped by under the radar entirely. Linden Lab doesn’t like to reveal which company is handling their payments processing at any given time.

Since then, we have the new Local Payments system which appears to be in place… about now-ish. The new Local Payments system allows foreign customers to pay in currencies other than US Dollars – which is good for some overseas customers, but a bit rubbish for others. Most particularly, 888/Dragonfish aren’t accepting payments from Paypal or from American Express at this time.

I say ‘at this time’, because it seems that the Lab is pushing to bring at least Paypal processing back on board.

I’ve not heard back from Linden Lab’s spokespeople in recent weeks about the Local Payments system, but it doesn’t take too much to tease some info out of the folks doing support. In order to protect the poor schmuck who had the conversation, I’ll paraphrase the salient points:

  • 888/Dragonfish does not offer Paypal processing for Second Life customers outside of the USA at this time.
  • Linden Lab expects Paypal processing to resume.
  • Linden Lab has no idea when this might occur.
  • Linden Lab doesn’t sound happy about it – or at least their outsourced customer support people don’t.

Cashing out of Second Life (that is converting account credit to a payment to you) still works via Wire Transfer or by Paypal, as it always has. If you’re adding or changing your billing details (existing customers are fine, so long as they don’t touch their billing information), you just can’t pay Linden Lab through Paypal if you’re not in one of the 50 United States of America – until there’s some notice otherwise.

UPDATE: More information is now available.

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