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I’m grateful to have been contacted by source who was formerly close to the payment processing project (which I talked about here). While no longer involved with the Lab, they were able to fill me in on some of the specifics, and particularly as to what the status of Paypal payment processing for foreign Second Life customers.

According to this source, Linden Lab’s deal with 888/Dragonfish looked like a good option (and still does), as 888’s online gambling arm meant that it was well-positioned to accept a much larger variety of foreign payments than previous payment processors – and to do so in a secure fashion – all of which was backed with a support team that was fluent in many languages.

Unfortunately, the software at 888/Dragonfish and at Linden Lab didn’t talk the same lingo, or handle the same information in the same ways. Whole new APIs (Application Program Interfaces) had to be developed to bring 888/Dragonfish online as a payments processor for Linden Lab and Second Life.

It’s my understanding that the majority of this work was being handled by Linden Lab’s UK office, which – as you know – was a casualty of Linden Lab’s major downsizing this year.

Nevertheless, the project has been passing its milestones, and payment processing can now proceed, but there’s still quite a bit more work to be done to bring Paypal into the new software integration.

Linden Lab apparently really wants to get the Paypal portion up and running, but it simply wasn’t deliverable when the rest of it needed to be brought online. The Lab knows it needs Paypal as a part of gaining new customers, as well as retaining many existing customers, and is reportedly still working hard on that. Unfortunately the gap between firing up the new system and having Paypal working with the new system was just unavoidable.

So, there you have it. While the Lab is saying very little about this – even for the Lab, which borders on the astonishing – it’s apparently in progress as a priority and the Lab wants that Paypal support returned as soon as it is working.

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