Anyone who has found themselves fishing their credit card out of their wallet, or worse, typing out the number from memory, while wandering through various websites and making purchases from sites based in Israel or abroad, is familiar with the fear that accompanies any such purchase: the fear that some malevolent actor will steal your credit card details and make unauthorized use of them, thus saddling your bank account with charges that have nothing to do with you.
Let there be no misunderstanding here. The credit card companies insure you, the consumers, against unauthorized use, and require the various businesses making use of their services to implement high standards of customer identification at the time of purchase. Furthermore, the credit card companies have security branches that make use of sophisticated systems to identify fraud, with the methods becoming progressively more advanced.
Nonetheless, the hassle, time and resources that must be invested by a consumer whose credit card details have been stolen can quite literally ruin his day. Contacting the credit card company, waiting on the line, cancelling the compromised card, filing the request for a refund on the charges for which one is not responsible, getting a new credit card issued, and picking it up from the bank – are all experiences which aren't likely to add to one's joie de vivre, and certainly not if one goes through the ordeal more than once per lifetime.
Paypal was one of the pioneers of internet payment solutions, offering a new way to make payments from private consumers to businesses and between private people. Paypal designed it's service so that it addresses the needs of private consumers and business alike, while prioritizing the user-experience across multiple platforms.
What are the needs of the average consumer?
What does a person really need, after all? The ability to make online purchases in a way that is easy and simple. The consumer needs a bottom-line solution, that will enable him to purchase products anywhere, without needing to know or understand the inner workings. Let us try and enumerate the basic needs of the consumer.
Simplicity of Operation:
In case anyone was wondering, typing 16 digits of a credit card number, 4 digits for the expiration date, 3 digits for the CVC number, and 9 digits for the ID number, all on a cellphone while in motion – all make for anything but a simple operation.
In the modern era, businesses allow customers to make mobile payments – a method used by most customers today – with true ease and simplicity. This means using only an email address and password, enabling the customers to complete the transaction without needing to type in the credit card number.
A customer wants the transaction to be secure, and not expose his credit card details to malevolent actors. The security of the channel through which the transaction is made with the business is an essential prerequisite for the customer before he makes any purchases.
Minimizing risks in case of theft:
The customer needs to know that in a case where a malevolent actor gains access to his private identifying information, said malevolent actor will only be able to do minimal, easily fixable damage.
In the globalized era, where many online transactions are being done from different countries, many consumers feel much more secure when the payment service allows them to change their minds and cancel the purchase.
What are the needs of the business?
Much like the customer, the business, constituting the other side of the transaction, also has needs and demands that must be met.
Improved user experience:
The business has a vested interest in the user having the best purchase experience possible. To the extent that the customer is required to remember fewer details, type in fewer pieces of data, and can make the transaction using fewer touches of the phone screen or the computer mouse, the probability that the customer will actually complete the purchase, and even return and make additional purchases, rises.
Eliminating liability while complying with standards:
When a business conducts transactions using customers' credit card details, there are requirements set by the international credit card companies with which the business must comply. There are rules pertaining to the way the business handles the details taken from the customer, and the data security standards required from the business' computer system.
Any business would be happy to be provided with a technological solution that would enable it to make transactions while also providing the technological infrastructure that would protect it from theft of the customers' credit card details and customers' denials of making purchases.
What services does Paypal provide within this context?
First, let us try to understand the technological solution provided by Paypal to secure transaction being conducted online. Paypal allows for each person or business to manage a personal or business account, respectively, with the account including the details of the credit card he would like to use for internet transactions. The user only needs to input the credit card details once, while setting up the Paypal account.
When the user wants to make a purchase on a the website of a business that supports online transactions, he is redirected to Paypal's identification service, where he must type his username and password. The moment the identification process is completed, Paypal continues to complete the transaction with the business. At no point during the process of making the transaction does one type in the credit card details.
What is the danger still faced by the customer in this process? Well, if a malevolent actor is listening in on the connection where the transaction is being made between the business and the customer, at most, he can steal and try to decipher the customer's Paypal password. If he is successful in cracking the encryption and extracting the customer's password, he can identify as the customer to Paypal, but he can't obtain the credit card details that are saved in the account.
In such a case, all the customer has to do is change his Paypal password and thus completely solve the problem that has arisen.
If so, what does the Paypal service allow its customers to do?
Transferring funds between people and businesses
The basic service provided by Paypal to its customers is transferring money between people, and between people and businesses. All one has to do in order to send money to someone else is to type in the address of the person receiving the money in Paypal. Generally, people tend to use their email addresses in signing up for Paypal.
Paypal allows for businesses to sign customers up for standing orders. Thus, customers can purchase subscriptions for various services that are provided for a set period of time, and automatically renew the subscription.
The "Paypal Me" service allows businesses to send invoices easily and efficiently through means such as email and various social media platforms. Thus, businesses can collect money from many people at once, for a good or service that has a uniform price.
Paypal is a global service that enables customers to purchase goods and services around the world, without worrying about whether the online platform of the business from which they are making a purchase supports the credit card which they are using, or issues such as currency exchange.
If you have received money through Paypal, you can keep it in your Paypal account for use in future purchases. This is, essentially, a similar service to the one provided by a bank account, just with no credit card provided by the account.
Paypal provides its various services using the company's website and an app that generate an advanced user experience optimized for different devices.
What is Paypal?
Paypal is a payment solution that enables transferring funds between people, and between people and businesses.
What is the main risk from which Paypal protects its customers?
When using Paypal, the customer's credit card details do not at any stage go through the connection between the customer and the business, and thus the risk of theft of the credit card details is avoided.
What additional advantages does Paypal have?
Paypal significantly improves the customer's user experience, as he is required to only remember one password, and not long and complex credit card details.
What services does Paypal provide for businesses?
Paypal provides a wide variety of services for businesses. For a detailed description of the services and advantages that Paypal provides for businesses, see the full article.