Living outside of America typically requires an understanding that most technology companies will completely ignore our existence and, while this can be incredibly frustrating for people who want to use long-running services, it does provide a market opportunity for people with enough desire to roll their own. PayPal is one such company that has left a huge gap in its service for the better part of a decade; particularly for those of us living outside of an English-speaking nation.
Since moving to Japan half a decade ago, I've always struggled when trying to use my PayPal account. I can't add any money to it from Japan unless I do the impossible and get myself a credit card. So, if I need to buy something using the service, I need to do some development work for people and have them send money through to my account. Sometimes, though, I have too much in the PayPal account and want to withdraw the funds. Problem is that I can't do this outside of Canada or America. I know five other people with the exact same problem, too. We all have a decent amount of cash in our PayPal accounts with no way to get it out other than spending it on web services.
But this does raise an interesting business proposition: how difficult would it be to create a 3rd party money conversion company?
Of course this would likely require all sorts of documentation and government permits, but providing a service where I send a company X amount of money through PayPal to have it converted to cold-hard Japanese Yen would be a wonderful thing. Heck, I'd even pay 5~10% of the transfer amount to make it happen! Is it feasible, though?
I believe such an organization would need to have an office both in Japan and America1 to make this a viable solution. Cash would be sent to the American branch through PayPal, the confirmation number would show up, and the Japanese branch could pay out the amount in Yen minus a transaction fee. From there the American office would save up a certain amount of cash before sending it over to Japan (as it's expensive to wire money across countries) and everything would balance out ... hopefully.
This is a painfully simplistic view of how such an organization would work, of course, but it's fun to think something like this is simple enough that anybody could do it. Now ... if only somebody would do it.