It is pretty hard to imagine an e-commerce site that doesn’t have that good ol’ yellow and blue PayPal button at the end of your purchasing journey. It has become a symbol of modern online payment processing, and not to mention one of the safest and most secure methods too. Just like any other popular online services, Paypal also had a humble beginning by a couple of like-minded people getting together with a brilliant idea.
In fall of 1998, Peter Thiel, a German-American entrepreneur, visited Stanford University to give a guest lecture on marketing globalization. In the audience was Max Levchin, who knew Thiel through mutual friends. They got to talking after the lecture and decided to join heads to create a company together. Just a few weeks later came the birth of Fieldlink, which was a security-focused company where users were able to store encoded information on PDA devices. The idea of using a Palm Pilot as a digital wallet instead of paper cash or credit card was innovative at that time, and gave them a creative push into their next big venture, X.com.
X.com’s main service was to allow users to pay for online purchases straight through email. With a successful run, Theil and Levchin decided to merge the two branches together and herein, Paypal came alive. The popularity of Paypal grew, where customers saw the convenience of using this service, and how much safer it is to not have to continually type in their credit card information and leaving ample room for it to get stolen. Having all the information in one secure spot saved time and gave customers a peace of mind.
As more and more people begin using Paypal, several e-commerce companies wanted to incorporate the service into their sites, including eBay. In 2002, eBay announced that it was going to buy Paypal for 1.5 billion dollars, gaining them complete control over the payment service. Not only does eBay benefit from this collaboration, but customers do too. Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay, stated, “We both empower people to buy and sell online,” which is seen through buyers and sellers being able to trade with greater ease and faster time.
So, there you have the brief history of the yellow and blue do-it-all button we know and love.
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