What Is PayPal?
The way the world is at present marks a quite significant change from how things were even ten years ago. Here is a little exercise to do with Internet surfing habits. When you got on the ‘net, chances are that you used Google to find pages – but did you use it as exclusively as you do now? When you were looking for fast, detailed information on any one of a range of subjects, if you were on the Internet ten years ago you certainly didn’t use Wikipedia. It wasn’t invented, even in its most basic form, until the turn of the century. And as for financial transactions, it’s almost certain that you were using credit card details, because PayPal was in its absolute infancy.
The list goes on. Only programmers of a certain level of ability were setting up websites of any real intricacy, and maintaining them. The word “blog” would have led someone to look at you with barely concealed fear for your mental health – although LiveJournal did exist and Blogger.com was on its way. The very concept of “blogging”, though, was a very niche market and idea up until the middle of this decade – but is now at the fingertips of thousands upon thousands of people. All of the above concepts, and others, have become common currency only in recent years but, now they are in vogue, they are immensely powerful and shape a lot of our working life and everyday lifestyle.
Business is never slow to react to a trend. In all honesty, if you want to see what will be on everyone’s minds, desks and t-shirts two years from now, it is well worth looking at what the business community are doing now. This requires some amount of judgement on your behalf as well, of course – not least because large sections of the business community are busily ramming documents into shredders, crying and booking flights to countries that have no extradition policy. But if the business world decides thatsomething will be big, it is worth getting on board, because the likelihood is that it will play a big part in all of our lives in time to come. Of the above Internet concepts, one of the most powerful is PayPal.
There are few of us who have not sat in front of a monitor preparing to send payment for a service or an item and thought “Do I really want to send my card details over the Internet?”. It’s safe, ninety-nine point nine (recurring) times out of a hundred, but there is always that little jag of doubt. But for the entrepreneur who wants to sell online, the joy of PayPal is that people have far fewer qualms about using it. It is tried and tested, efficient and speedy, and it is becoming accepted by more and more companies. As time goes on this is set to increase, and the people who use PayPal now will be in a stronger position than the late adopters, as they will know how to run an account efficiently.
First Published: May 11, 2009 EntrepreneurJourney.com