We recently began beta testing a new system that enables our international customers to use local currencies and other local payment methods when purchasing Linden dollars and conducting other financial transactions with Linden Lab. We want to make it easier, and less expensive, for our international customers to shop and do business in Second Life. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to use your own currency, or PayPal, to purchase Linden dollars and also save money on fees? We think so too.
Based on our beta testing to date, we’ve learned a lot and discovered a few issues that we want to change and improve. So, I wanted to share our progress and what to expect as we roll this capability out to all international users later this year.
- Recent Billing Issues Will Not Affect Your Account Status: For those that have run into billing glitches, let me put your mind at ease. Some international customers have tried to pay us (to keep their account current) and they were unable to complete the transaction. If you’ve encountered this problem, then please accept our apologies. Rest assured that everyone who was not able to provide payments, due to this system issue, have already had their accounts manually restored as we work to implement a fix. The affected accounts are still in good standing and these customers will not lose their status or land as a consequence.
- Local Payments Will be Available in all Supported Viewers: Another concern that has been raised by the community is whether users can purchase Linden dollars using local currencies in Viewer 1.23. The answer is yes, although some people using Viewer 1.23 may have run into issues purchasing Linden dollars a few weeks ago. The issue has since been fixed. Now, customers who are in this beta can purchase Linden dollars using all supported Viewers.
- We Need to Make the Local Payments System Easier to Use: On the usability side, we have beta tested local payments with new and current international customers and we’ve found we need some additional usability work to ensure that purchasing Linden dollars (and other transactions) is an easier, intuitive experience. While we are doing that, we will not add any new or current Residents to the beta system instead they will stay on the standard payments system. But if you have already been using the local payments beta version, then you will continue to do so while we continue getting ready for a wider roll out.
In late July, we’ll be ready to provide all of our international customers with comprehensive local payment options in a system that works seamlessly and is easy to use. I’ll be updating you again as we get closer to releasing the system. Thanks for you patience as we work out the kinks.
And, if you have additional questions about the system, then there’s a comprehensive Local Payments article with a Help and Frequently Asked Questions (including how to contact Support) in English, Français, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Português, and 日本語.