So what exactly were those guys working on to actually improve the business for their customers?
* Improve the scam detector
* Reduce the false positives of the scam detector
* Test the interface in all the new versions of all the major browsers
* Maintain the localization for a worldwide service
* Fix the interface every time a second class bank in a third world country decides to change the internal system
* Fix the tax algorithms and another law related restrictions for every state/country.
* Do we really need a backup system?
None of them are very visible outside the company, but they are vital.
* Lowered transaction fees for volume merchants to 1.9%
* Partnered with many of the largest payment gateways to add PayPal to their services
* Introduced PayPal mobile and NFC phone-to-phone payments
* Introduced micropayments
* Introduced two-factor authentication
* Got their European Union banking license and expanded to 100+ new countries
* Began offering PayPal Buyer Credit (transactional lines of credit)
* Moved into retail stores, accepting PayPal at credit card terminals in-store of 6 national retail chains and growing
* Began offering a mobile card reader to accept payments into a PayPal account
* Introduced student accounts with parental controls
* Opened their API for development of peer-to-peer payment services
* Introduced virtual, one-time-use credit card numbers
* Began offering merchant gift certificates
* Introduced a "storefront widget" that could be embedded in websites
* Began offering SMS-based authentication
* Began offering a virtual terminal for manually keying in offline/phone orders
* Introduced PayPal Pro and the ability to store payment authorizations you can charge against in the future (i.e. a payment vault with permission controlled by the customer).
I'm sure there's lots I'm forgetting. They still operate in dozens of countries where there are zero alternatives for individuals/small businesses to accept credit and bank payments online. Operating in 190 countries, many of which regulate them as a full-fledged bank, takes a lot of offices and a lot of staff.
10 years ago you could add a Buy Now button to your website. Today PayPal covers just about any payment scenario online and off:
* Take payments on your website, redirecting to PayPal for zero PCIDSS compliance burden
* Take payments directly on your website with PayPal's multiple server-side APIs
* Handle micropayments, recurring bills and usage-based bills with a payment token you only have to authorize once
* Take payments at your cafe with a swipe reader on your smartphone or tablet
* Take payments by phone or mail order with the virtual terminal
* Mass pay others by uploading a spreadsheet/CSV or by API
* Pay friends or send gifts from your smartphone
* Pay with PayPal at major retail chains with your phone number and PIN code
* All with a lower effective transaction rate than at least 90% of most small businesses would pay anywhere else
So they're doing more than ever before, for more businesses than ever before (judging by their revenues), while reducing their fees instead of increasing them. Why does the sexiness of their developer documents or New Buy Now Button Wizard matter more to you?
Other than the recent front end redesign, PayPal's interface and overall product has not changed since I started using it 5 or 6 years ago.
As a developer using services PayPal regularly, I hope that this does lead to an improvement of there service. Otherwise, we've been fleeced by corporate PR babble yet again.
On a side note, the rise of companies like Stripe and Square might have given the higher-ups pause. These should have been spaces where PayPal was the innovative leader, not lemmings.
I've never seen it work in practice. In practice, in my experience, layoffs never target exactly the right set of dead weight. Company politics always come into play and you end up with a situation where some of the right people got axed, but not enough and worse sometimes the layoffs hit people who are actually great producers but who weren't visible enough to upper management to be spared. And once this event occurs it tends to have a ripple effect among the survivors -- nobody really feels safe and so everyone starts considering other opportunities and naturally your best talent has the easiest time of landing new jobs so they're among the first out the door, and now you're on a downward spiral of fucked.
Add to the fray Apple's Passbook and I think that Paypal is scrambling to secure their ecommerce throne.
Apparently, yes. According to Wikipedia in 2007 they employed 2000 people.