Vol.1, No.5

The history of paypal

Read this informative article to find out how it all began, how it grows, and where Paypal is today!

Signing up for PayPal
Photo Credit: Stefan Klein
If you've never heard of an Internet company called Paypal, then you must not buy or sell any items on eBay, the world's largest online auction. Because, though they are run separately, the two companies’ business transactions go hand in hand. The two companies, Paypal and eBay, make a good team because Paypal is an electronic bank of sorts. Therefore, anyone who buys or sells items on eBay can pay for their purchases or collect their money by using Paypal.

Paypal was established in 1998, and it was purchased by eBay a few years later in 2002. It cost eBay a whopping $1.5 billion dollars to acquire the payment processing company. Paypal is now located in Mountain View, California.

It was started by two men named Max Levchin and Peter Thiel. Levchin is a computer programmer from Kiev, Ukraine. He and his family moved to the United States and he received his formal education at the University of Illinois. He received his Bachelor degree in the field of Computer Science.

Levchin's greatest contribution to the Internet company has been his intense desire and wide knowledge of secure electronic transactions by using encryption. He is the CTO of Paypal.

Thiel, on the other hand, brought to the partnership his knowledge of handling the business end of Paypal. He is still the CEO of the company.

Although Paypal was purchased for nearly two billion dollars, today it is estimated to be worth nearly seven billion dollars. It has easily grown to be the largest online payment system that boasts having over fifty six million customers in nearly forty countries. The company handles approximately fifty million dollars every calendar day in monetary transactions.

Besides being the main payment system for eBay, Paypal also handles a variety of other Internet transactions as well. Once a customer who has an email address (a requirement at Paypal), signs up, they have a choice of acquiring one of three types of accounts. The Personal Account is for people who need to either send a payment or receive a payment. This account is limited in that the holder can't receive credit card or debit card payments. However, there are no charges associated with this type of account.

The next step up is the Premier Account. This account has the same ability to send or receive monetary payments as the Personal Account does. However, payments can be sent for free. while the company charges a transaction fee for accepting money.

And finally, a Business Account is designed for the online merchant. As a merchant, you can send money for free, but Paypal charges a transaction fee for every payment they process for you.

Not everyone is eligible to open a Business Account at Paypal, though. A customer must have a calendar month of sales that reaches a certain level, and they must also fill out an application.

Depending on the type of account you have, there are many other popular services available through Paypal too. They include easy refunds, dispute arbitration, invoice services, packing slips, a shopping cart, a debit card with a cashback feature, seller protection policy, automatic payments, a shipping calculator, and logos and other tools for the person who sells.

While Paypal has been growing every day, it has also been receiving awards and accolades along the way too. The company has won the People’s Voice Award and the Webby Award for the Best Finance Site. It has also been named one of The Top 100 Web Sites by PC Magazine, one of the Top 25 Companies by Fortune Small Business, and Forbes' Favorite Email Payment Processor, just to name a few of the company's achievements.