PayPal competitor FirePay notified members today that will begin the process of shutting down later this month. The UK-based online money exchange service will begin shutting its doors on Monday, December 10, 2007 when it will no longer allow users to add funds to their accounts or transfer money. Users will have 150 days following that date to withdraw funds from their account or review account statements.

Like many PayPal alternatives, FirePay never really caught on. Though the service claims 1.5 million users, it barely registers on Alexa and Compete compared to PayPal — which, incidentally, has 153 million accounts. Nevertheless, FirePay’s merchant page lists some fairly big fish who will no longer be able to accept payments via the service, including Sony Online Entertainment and Club Penguin. Some of the merchants listed, however, don’t appear to actually accept FirePay (such as Skype), so take all that with a grain of salt.

The full letter sent to FirePay subscribers is after the bump.

“Effective Monday, December 10, 2007, FirePay will no longer allow funding, spending, or payment transactions. FirePay account holders will still be able to access their account to review their online statement, register and validate their bank account, and withdraw any existing balance free of charge for a 150-day period ending on Thursday, May 8, 2008. After this date the FirePay website will no longer allow account access and all further inquiries will have to be directed to FirePay via email at [email protected]. Any requests for withdrawal of a remaining balance after Thursday, May 8, 2008, will incur a $25 payment handling fee. Please sign in to your account now at to confirm whether you have a balance and, if so, to initiate a free withdrawal.”