Since it was launched in 1998, PayPal has proved to be massively successful. It isn’t the only online payment method around, but there is no doubt that it has played a crucial role in making it easier to pay on the internet.
The Rise of eCommerce
The introduction of PayPal at the end of the 20th century coincided with an explosion in online shopping. The web had become easier to use and more people were gaining access to it all the time. Yet, one vital element was missing; a secure way of paying directly on a website. eBay and Amazon were launched in the few years before PayPal, but paying for goods could be awkward.
At that time, paper checks were still the most common payment method. As incredible as it seems now before 1998 the majority of online transactions involved one of the parties sending a check to the other and then waiting for it to arrive and get cashed. Once PayPal became an option, the whole process almost immediately became a lot slicker.
It is impossible to imagine eCommerce growing into the giant market that it is now if we had carried on issuing checks for every transaction. The arrival of PayPal made a real difference, as suddenly anyone anywhere in the world could send money instantly to anyone else. It didn’t take long for people to spot the opportunities this presented for online selling.
A New Way to Do Business and the Start of the Fintech Giants
Their hugely popular stock market listing in 2001 marked another turning point in the market. Yet, it is worth noting that the PayPal listing pointed out that it was unclear whether electronic payments would continue to grow, explaining that little legislation existed in this respect. Any fears about this proved to be unfounded as the company went from strength to strength on the stock market.
Their IPO was carried out in early 2002 and this was one of the first fintech firms to show that this was a viable, profitable business model. If you had invested $10,000 in the PayPal IPO, you would now have made a fortune on it. More importantly, it proved to be a key moment that led to other successful fintech launches since then.
We can now see big names like Skrill, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Venmo in the digital wallet market. This sort of diversity would presumably have happened even without PayPal, but the payment firm showed the way and survived the dot-com bubble bursting, to emerge as one of the strongest players in the new breed of tech giants.
Other Industries That Have Benefited from PayPal
It seems clear that eCommerce proved to be the biggest beneficiary of the arrival of PayPal. This fast, safe method of sending money around the planet proved to be ideal and has undoubtedly helped the eCommerce industry to become the powerhouse it is today. However, it is something that has helped other industries to do business as well.
Non-profit organizations come in behind retail in terms of PayPal’s biggest customers. This is an ideal way to collect donations and move funds easily. In fact, the official PayPal site confirms that non-profits pay no monthly fee for their accounts and also receive discounted rates on transactions. According to PayPal, 75% of donors would be happy to donate again using this method, while 79% of respondents stated that they are comfortable using it on an unfamiliar website.
We can also see its popularity in the current list of PayPal online casinos. The likes of 888Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and Borgata Casino all use this swift, secure banking method. It is considered one of the top casino payment methods because of the speed and the fact that personal banking details aren’t at risk of being exposed online.
PayPal’s move into cryptocurrency buying in the last few years has also helped to boost this industry by introducing a new wave of customers. People who might have been wary of buying Bitcoin and other tokens in the past can now do so with confidence. It has also proved to be extremely useful for people working as freelancers. In this way, they can receive payment from employers anywhere in the world without any fuss.
These are just some of the reasons why PayPal has become such a force in the business world in the last couple of decades. Other online payment methods have been introduced since its launch, but with over 390 million active users in 2021, PayPal remains the name that most people associate with electronic wallets and online payments.