PayPal, a leading American company operating a worldwide online payments system that include online money transfers on Wednesday began contacting firms which use its payment system to sell academic essays online giving them notice that they should “move their business elsewhere.”
“PayPal is working with businesses associated with essay-writing services to ensure our platform is not used to facilitate deceptive and fraudulent practices in education,” said a spokesman for the payment firm.
“PayPal will continue to diligently review and take appropriate action on accounts found to facilitate cheating that undermines academic integrity.”
But this will not be an “overnight ban” – as there will be debates over which services are helping students to cheat and which are offering legitimate tutoring assistance.
This is a business that operates across national borders – so PayPal says there will need to be an international response.
University leaders have warned repeatedly about the risk of so-called “essay mills” being used by students to cheat.
The move by PayPal was welcomed by the higher education watchdog, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), which had written to the company in November, calling on them “to close down the payment facilities for the essay-writing companies that encourage students to cheat”..
“This decision is a huge step forwards in the battle to close down these unscrupulous operators,” said the QAA’s head of policy and public affairs, Gareth Crossman.