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List of Categories : Commentary * Database * Singapore * Technology * Travel *

Thu 10 Feb 2005

A New Year

Category : Technology/PayPalPaymentTechnology.txt

It's Chinese New Year in Singapore, the beginning of the Chinese lunar year, but I'm working through it, preparing for a series of course that we'll be doing from next week. At times like this, my house is a sanctuary, untouched by the hubbub that is going on around it.

It's also the beginning of something, I'm not sure what, but I'm sure it will amount to something significant. I've just received notification from PayPal that we're able to receive credit card payments from people without their having to sign up as PayPal members.

That is a big deal to us. We've been waiting for months for this to happen outside of the US. (Hai Hwee just sent me this link - looks like we were not alone in agitating for its release).

We talk about being on-line, 24x7, high-tech and high-touch, but wait till you try to get a merchant account to do on-line credit card processing. That's somehow still handled by the analogue world of form-fillers, everything in triplicate and high annual, monthly and set-up fees. And we look across back to our PayPal set-up. That was so easy and money comes in to our Singapore-based DBS account at the end of the chain.

Before today, people who want to pay us, on-line via credit card, have to sign up first as a PayPal member. Now, even that step is optional.

The process is almost perfect. If you're not a PayPal member, there's (thankfully) not too much more details to provide, when compared with other systems. There's one problem, though, if you are already a PayPal member - "Just remember the account optional (is) not all it seems to be. It(')s only optional if the credit card and email address being used are not associated to (with) a PayPal account. If one or the other is, then the customer must use their PayPal account. Its a start, but no(t) quite what it seems by the name." - from the PayPal developer site.

If you watch how PayPal's grown and the steps it's taking, you're seeing the beginning of a powerful beast. Watch out WorldPay, Planet Payment, and all of that ilk. Somebody's going to be eating your lunch.

Posted at 7:14AM UTC | permalink


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