Chances are, you’ve used popular online auction site eBay or you’ve frequented internet super-duper market Amazon for some of your online shopping needs. And chances are, you have used PayPal as an online e-commerce platform to make your payments, or even transfer money from one party to another. That is because it is free to do between private bank accounts below a certain amount, or because it is extremely established and reliable for vendors as one of the first such online payment options available in the early days of internet commerce. It helps that they only ask for a minimal surcharge for their services.
Yet, the company most synonymous with e-commerce may soon face some strong-armed rivals. At least, that is what analysts are predicting. Experts in forecasting online trends are projecting that the mobile payment transactions industry will reach some $235 billion which explains why some of the big boys on the World Wide Web, such as Facebook and Apple, are testing the waters with proprietary mobile payment services of their own. With regular complaints from the Elon Musk-jumpstarted company, PayPal will need to rise to the occasion and fend off the competition. Specifically, this means addressing user criticism over a lack of quality customer service and regular freezing of accounts, seemingly happening frequently and out of the blue.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the stiffer competition that PayPal faces.
Square made their name with a pretty ingenious tactic: they managed to turn our tablets and phones into individual Point of Sales (PoS) terminals with a clever device that fit into any auxiliary 3.5 mm headphone jack and read credit card information. What this meant was that the expensive, proprietary readers provided by the major credit card companies now faced new, cheaper competition. Square charged a minimal charge of 2.75% for each transition, and entrepreneurial, small time cafés and coffee shops the world over turned their unused iPads into instant cashier machines.
Now, Square has expanded their banking services that are a bit broader in scope to match some similar amenities to what PayPal offers. The latter, in turn, has introduced a service called PayPal Now to rival that exact service that Square made their name on, namely a credit card reader and companion app that can link with your PayPal account and accept payments on an individual basis, or for your business. PayPal now undercuts the surcharge of Square with a 2.5% cut of every transaction, but Square still has a simpler pricing scheme since all transactions cost the same. An advantage for PayPal, on the other hand, is that it offers direct and instant transfer into your bank account, unlike Square.
Google has wisely decided to enter this space; what was once just the king of search engines has expanded their reach into services like music, email, and with the acquisition of YouTube, video. What this means, of course, is more services that can offer online transactions and accept payment. What they are trying to ultimately do, however, is beyond the scope of PayPal. Essentially, with Google’s hold on the smartphone market through the Android platform, they want to turn your phone into your digital wallet through wireless communication technology like NFC. This means leaving the house without cash or cards and simply holding your phone near a subway turnstile or card reader on a bus to make payments.
At the moment, this still new technology has been implemented in few countries, including parts of South Korea, the UK, and the US. The major disadvantage Google Wallet faces is the relative lack of online merchants it boasts when compared to PayPal, as well as the lack of real-world vendors which accept NFC-enabled payment.
Paysafecard is a popular e-commerce platform in Europe. With their service, Pay-Station, users gain the ability to purchase paysafecard vouchers with minimal diffiuclty, all from the convenience of their smartphones. If you use paysafecard bingo, roulette and other casino fare can seamlessly be continued when you run out of credit. This all happens instantly and securely while you stay immersed in your game. With over 500,000 sales outlets around the globe, and with thousands of online shops that accept it, paysafecard is a great alternative to PayPal for simple, safe, and quick payment. Sign up now for the first 12 months without any fees!