Ticket Sellers and Event Organizers (UK)

As a part of our commitment to providing the best possible experience for buyers and sellers, we perform routine reviews of merchant accounts. These reviews are carried out also once a merchant has been identified as a ticket seller or an event organiser. We will endeavour to reach you, both by phone and email, in order to discuss and obtain information on your business model/event. If we are unable to resolve immediately, we may temporarily limit what you can do with your account until you provide the requested information on your business model and/or your proposed event. The information requested may include but is not limited to:

Ticket Sales:

Information requested Why is this required?
Are you selling tickets for multiple events? If so, what type of events are they? This allows PayPal to establish a true understanding of your business model or the events that you are selling tickets for.
How many tickets are you expecting to sell and what is the average ticket price? This will give us a sense of the volume we expect to receive in the PayPal account and the number of tickets sold.
Are you processing all ticket sales through PayPal or with any other processor? If you have another processor, do you have a sense of how much will be processed through them? This will help us to understand the total volume of sales for the event and will help us to understand the dependency on PayPal to accept payments.
What dates will the tickets be available for sale? This will give us a sense of how much volume you are intending to process within a specific timeframe and allow us to manage the volume increase.
Can you provide details of your business model and any steps you take to mitigate risk? This allows us to understand your business and determine how you will manage possible fraudulent sales and the industry risk, should an event not take place.
Can you provide invoices for the tickets you are selling? This will give us an understanding of the number of ticket sales to be processed through your PayPal account and confirms that you have the tickets at hand.
Can you provide details of your suppliers? Confirmation of reputable suppliers reduces the risk of tickets being unavailable to your buyers.
Can you provide delivery tracking for the tickets sold? This allows us to confirm that the ticket(s) sold have been shipped to your buyers.
Are you a member of STAR or other ticketing authority? This allows PayPal to verify that you are registered as a ticket selling merchant and comply with industry requirements.
Do you have a registered business? PayPal can then determine if the strength of your business can support the current or projected processing on your account. (You may also be asked to provide financial information on your business e.g. Management or Audited accounts.)

Events (one-off or periodic):

Information requested Why is this required?
When is/are the event(s) and can you provide more details on what the event is for? Gaining visibility to the event date will help us to understand the period where an increase in account activity is expected. Details on the event itself will allow us to get a deeper understanding of the event.
How many tickets are you expecting to sell and what is the average ticket price? This will give us a sense of the volume we expect to receive in the PayPal account for the event and the number of tickets sold. The size and scale of the event is important for us.
What dates will the tickets be available for sale? This will give us a sense of how much volume you are intending to process within a specific timeframe and allow us to manage the volume increase.
Are you processing all ticket sales through PayPal or with any other processor? If you have another processor, do you have a sense of how much will be processed through them? This will help us to understand the total volume of sales for the event and will help us to understand the dependency on PayPal to accept payments.
Is this your first time hosting an event/conference? Can you provide details of prior events or conference? This will help us to understand your past history in hosting events — in particular if there are recurring events and your experience in managing them.
Have you previously used PayPal to collect funds for an event or conference? This will help us to understand whether this is a new activity for you through PayPal or not.
Do you have insurance for the event? If yes, can you provide details e.g. insured against event cancellation. Insurance coverage in the instances where the event is cancelled may help to protect your buyers and yourself. Details of this will be important. If you don't have insurance, don't worry, but we do need to know in advance the terms around any insurance policies you may have — especially the terms around cancellation.
Do you have a venue agreement? A venue agreement helps to confirm that the event is planned and will help us to determine that tickets issued are in accordance with the rules and regulations of the venue.
Can you provide details on the expenses that need to be made in advance of the event / conference? Our default position, like many payment processors and acquirers in the market place, is to hold funds until the event date. We need details of the type of expenses, the dates when these are due for payment, supplier details and also the invoices so that we can assess how much of the funds we may release to you in advance of the event.
Do you have a registered business? PayPal can then determine if the strength of your business can support the current or projected processing on your account. (You may also be requested to provide financial information on your business e.g. Management or Audited accounts.)

Why does PayPal restrict the money movement for conferences / events?

Sometimes events and conferences have to be cancelled; it happens more than you would expect and is often outside of the organiser's control for reasons such as insufficient demand or bad weather. In these instances we need to ensure that the buyer of the ticket is protected and will receive a refund for the cancelled event. Maintaining a balance in the PayPal account is a preventative measure for all parties and will help enable a smoother refund process.

You may have received a large volume of transactions or money into your account compared to your previous processing history with us and we would like to understand more about this before we allow the funds received to exit the account. This may lead to limited access to the funds collected.

Our policy is generally to hold funds until the event date. We can release funds in advance of the event, subject to sufficient verification and validation of expenses to ensure that the event is on track. Often the invoices need to be provided and we need to have proof that a supplier has been paid.

The holding of funds until the event date is common in the market but there are some steps the conference organiser can initiate to provide more insight to us (refer to the check list above).

What can I do to stop myself from getting restricted?

Ideally you should provide us with notification of the event prior to accepting payments. But if you have already started to accept funds then please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity.

Please call our Sales Team on: 0844 338 0470 and be willing to provide the information in the checklist above. Please also leave a contact number so our Events Team can get in touch with you.

PayPal will not block you from receiving funds into the account, but there may be actions around withdrawing or sending money to other PayPal accounts.

How much of my money will PayPal hold?

The extent that funds will be held will vary on a case by case basis. The more we know about your business and event (refer to the checklists above) the more likely it is going to improve your chances of having funds released prior to the event.

Here are a couple of scenarios that will give you a sense of scale for funds that will be released.

Scenario 1:

If you have processed £10k, with the ticket price of £100, and have £5k of invoices for an event / conference which is in a fortnight's time, we are likely to make available £3k of these processed funds to you providing we receive proof of these payments. Examples of the types of information required are bank statements or credit card transaction containing details of the payment(s). As the event draws closer we will continue to release funds to you. One week prior, we may release another £2k- £4k if you are able to show that you have had to pay for invoices. The residual amount held back (i.e. net of expenses paid) is what we intend to release post the event.

Scenario 2:

If however, you have accepted a much larger sum of £100k worth of payments for a conference where the ticket value is £500 and the event is being held in 90-days time, this carries higher risk given the transaction size for the event and the lengthy period between accepting payment and receipts. A proportion of the value of the expenses shall be remitted prior to the event. As in the case above, we need to obtain adequate proofs through invoices and payments made. Up to £50k could be available if we have the necessary documentation. The residual balance will be held until after the event.

Is PayPal doing this to make interest on funds held?

PayPal is not allowed to derive interest from monies that are held in your reserve balance.

Conferences and events, as we have alluded to above, carry increased risk through the extended period between ticket purchase and the event and often the complexities in arranging an event. We aim to minimise the financial impact to you and your buyers by holding funds.