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Why PayPal is shaping the future of payments


Having first launched in 1998, PayPal now has 426 million active consumer and merchant accounts. Designed to make money work better, faster and easier, over the years the brand has announced partnerships and new financial offerings to improve shopping experiences and allow for smoother transactions all over the world. 

It cannot be denied that PayPal has, and continues to, play a crucial role in the changing eCommerce landscape – and here we look at how it’s done exactly that. 

The Story Behind PayPal

Rewind to the late 90s and transactions were completed with physical money. That was until Cofinity, which later rebranded as PayPal, started to work on a digital payment system. In just a couple of years, PayPal achieved over 1 million users – with the majority coming from eBay. 

In 2008, Bill Me Later joined PayPal which was then rebranded as PayPal Credit. This meant sellers could offer deferred payments and promotional financing. PayPal Mobile was then introduced, which allowed for smartphone payments as the total number of users hit 100 million. 

2013 saw new brands being added to the PayPal family, with the likes of Venmo and Braintree joining the PayPal Commerce Platform. The former was primarily used by students and small businesses, and Braintree offered full-stack payment solutions for online and app purchases. Businesses could also benefit from PayPal Working Capital, which was often much quicker than getting traditional loans.

From 2015 onwards, PayPal worked on making international payments even easier with collaborations that allowed for low-cost transfers and a variety of payment choices. In recent years, acquisitions have allowed PayPal to expand its small business finance solutions as well as fraud detection and enhanced risk management. Looking ahead, PayPal has launched a digital wallet which allows people to manage their finances in a single destination. Checkout with Crypto is also available, which is a safe and easy way to pay with cryptocurrency. 

A cashless society

It cannot be denied that PayPal has had a huge impact on online deposit and withdrawal trends, and has been key in many businesses adopting cashless payments. Cashless payments are now the most popular payment option, with cash coming in third. 17% of British shoppers are card only and 38% prefer to pay using a card. Another survey found that a quarter of consumers had refused to buy something from a shop because they didn’t have a card machine.

While these stats highlight the importance of businesses adopting cashless payments if they want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s not the only reason. Cashless payments can help to improve the overall experience by making it faster and easier. And, this can lead to repeat customs and happy customers at that. 

Why PayPal?

When it comes to cashless payments, small businesses can choose between the likes of PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. But many opt for the former. This is because investment into payment security, customer service and the overall experience has meant that PayPal is now synonymous with excellent user accessibility and safety. 

It’s not just retailers that are benefiting from PayPal either. Travel companies and booking operators such as Booking.com, Expedia and even The London Eye allow PayPal payments. Technology names like Acer, Amazon, Samsung and Bose have also tapped into PayPal payments. And, there are now specialist and popular PayPal casinos, which further reiterate the brand as a trusted transactional method across the world. Understandably, PayPal is a worldwide name, meaning customers are likely to feel more comfortable using other services associated with this.

As we look towards the future, it’s thought that more cryptocurrencies will become available via PayPal and even more brand partnerships will be announced. Not only because the world is moving toward a cash-free society, but also because PayPal as a brand is becoming even more popular and trusted.