File under dangerous: Buying digital games on Nintendo’s eShop has become a bit less cumbersome. That’s because PayPal is now allowed as a payment method in the U.S.
Previously, the only options were to buy funds with a credit card or use a Nintendo eShop Card purchased from brick-and-mortar stores.
Now, customers 18 and older can link their PayPal accounts with their Nintendo Accounts on a computer, tablet or smartphone, allowing PayPal as a payment option for future purchases. I’ve seen this myself on Switch; according to Nintendo, this link also will allow purchases using PayPal from Nintendo’s website for buying Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.
On the Switch, whether using the credit card option or PayPal, you are prompted to add only the required amount for your purchase, minus existing Nintendo Account balance (which, I think, is a new feature?), or — as in the past — you can add increments of $10, $20, $50 or $100 in credit, up to a total maximum account balance of $200.
In typical Nintendo online fashion, this process isn’t as simple as it sounds, or as it could be. From my experience wrestling with it, you actually have to be in the process of buying a game in order to set up the link with PayPal. I was able to start a purchase, link my PayPal account (for current and future use, until I un-link it), and then cancel the purchase. (I hope!) I spent what I’d consider too long poking around My Nintendo, Game Store, etc., looking for the account linking option. But I got there eventually, and you will too.
Will this change make it more likely that you’ll purchase Nintendo’s digital games? My own view: Having games downloaded is so much faster than “switching” out cartridges (given adequate expanded SD card storage space), and the easier the checkout process becomes, the more likely I will be to go further down that route.