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PayPal Ripe For A Fall; Here's How To Topple Them
5 points by dstorrs 2824 days ago | hide | past | web | 2 comments | favorite
PayPal is, and long has been, the 800-pound gorilla of sending money online. This is actually surprising when you consider that there is plenty of competition and PayPal's customer management is quite poor.

In the last 36 months, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has received 7236 complaints related to PayPal (http://sanjose.bbb.org/Business-Report/PayPal-Inc-210387). More than half of these (3822 complaints), PayPal resolved by agreeing to live up to their contact. Approximately 15% (1168) are listed on the BBB site as "Unassigned", so the resolution is unclear. Keeping in mind that the vast majority of Americans who feel wronged by a company do not make a complaint to the BBB and it is very unlikely that anyone outside the USA would do so, this is a bad showing indeed.

The customers in question would probably say that that first 50% had a positive outcome--after all, they got what they wanted--but these numbers actually show a remarkably poor track record, as a company should not need to be prodded in order to live up to its own TOS.

There is plenty of competition--Google Checkout, Obopay, etc. The main stumbling block seems to be that both sender and recipient must be signed up for whatever service is going to exchange the money.

Better would be a company where only the sender needs to be signed up. The recipient would be specified via a mobile phone number and the money would be sent as a credit on their phone bill.

Best would be if neither party needed to be signed up, and the whole deal could be dealt with via mobile--I SMS the service in question, they bill my carrier (who passes the charge back to me) and send the money to the recipient's carrier (who credits it to their account).

Hopefully, someone will take that and run with it, because I'm sick of dealing with PayPal.

IMO, if Google fails at it so spectacularly (with Google Checkout - a true blight on Google), then this is a hard effing business. If you read "Founders at Work", it has a great story/interview with one of the founders of PayPal, Max Levchin. He talks about why PayPal succeeded where others failed. The main gist of it was that PayPal was able to come up with better fraud detection algos and, by doing so, were able to "save" tens of millions each month that their competitors were losing to fraud.

Re: mobile payments, I'm assuming you've heard of companies like Zong, Paymo and Boku. It's a much better userxp than Paypal and much more accessible payment method for the under-21 crowd.

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