In business – just as in nature – there is nothing new under the sun.
The business world is full of humble beginnings. But then comes the time of transition. A critical time of do or die. Becoming too large to stay in the nest and vulnerable to the outside world. Successful navigation and avoiding danger at this stage can lead to a sure future.
Even a department or division in a business can grow too big to share the same nest. A point of departure becomes inevitable and unavoidable for future growth.
Paypal was once a hungry baby bird in the Ebay nest.
Ebay fed and nurtured Paypal well like any good parent. One day this hungry, dependent baby grew to when it was time to leave the nest. The happiest and saddest day of any parent for their beloved offspring.
Watching this all unfold caused me to reflect on my own experiences in business and life. From the outside, we always only see the public face of a business.
After all, good business is entwined with life itself.
Reading about the parting between Paypal and Ebay has been delightfully engaging with a sobering edge as it will effect our business as it will many others. it is a great example of the nature of business. Very similar to the great cycle of life which we all personally experience every day.
One of the most amazing happenings on this good, green Earth is observing the little bird leaving its nest. A great lesson for any young person to see as it will relate to their own life.
Some little birds jump too soon and are eaten by predators as soon as they hit the ground as they are not strong enough yet to fly on their own. Others find the strength and leave at just the right time to take wing like all those big birds to fly above and out of reach of danger.
I remember a beautiful spring day when I was only seven years old when I saw a baby bluejay hopping along the ground. It’s feathers were very small and it was desperately trying to take to the air. I walked closer to inspect the bird with a feeling that maybe I needed to help it back into its nest.
But suddenly, I was attacked by it’s mother as she swooped in as an A-10 Thunderbolt protecting an advancing platoon of US Marines. My little boy brain ascertained that it would be prudent to just back off to a safe point of observation since this bird had adequate protection from its parent.
I watched in wide-eyed wonder as nature took its course. The mother bird then fended off a neighborhood cat that finally retreated with some painful pecks to its head.
This lesson in life I was experiencing was dreadful but exciting!
Soon after, I was privileged to watch the baby bluejay gain enough strength and skill to fly to a low hanging branch of a tree and ensure its survival. I went away with a better understanding of my own life.
On both sides of my family, my grandparents ran their own small businesses. They were successful and quite clever. I learned a lot from them about business. These were the days of manual adding machines and carbon paper invoices.
One set of grandparents had a small engine repair business
The husband (my paternal grandfather who built me an amazingly fast electric powered mini-bike in the 1960s) was the lead mechanic and supervised a few other mechanics. His wife (my grandmother who created the best hotdog I ever had to this day) met customers, wrote up the work orders, took payments and acted as bookkeeper.
The other set of grandparents had a mobile clothing business.
My maternal grandfather had grown up farming, lived through desperate times in the 1930s, served in World War Two as well as part of the first occupying force in Nagasaki, Japan just after the second atomic bomb drop and returned to work in several business fields.
All of my maternal grandfather’s experiences connected and led to a brilliant business model which would be the making of a great novel and movie. He believed he had a duty to teach me many great business principles. The best lesson was about the advantages of small, daily cash flow. And we never lacked an abundance of socks or underwear.
I realized then – In business – just as in nature – there is nothing new under the sun.
Just as new tools of business become the norm, the old ways never change. Business is business whether today or a hundred years ago when the telephone was introduced. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Last Friday, Paypal split from Ebay and became its own individual company. Bravo!
Are the cheers premature? What is in store for e-commerce sites who utilize Paypal? Will it be better service or become a dictator like those 20th century merchant accounts and gateways that have nickle and dimed independent e-commerce sites for so long?
Many questions arise – with all the eager anticipation of a blind date set up by a good friend we cant help but feel the butterflies in our stomach. Happy butterflies mixed with butterflies of fear with metallic wing tipped with razor blades.
Paypal was a little bird of just three years old when it was bought by Ebay for a little over a billion dollars in 2002. Since then, it has been nurtured into a point that just last year it was making as much revenue as Ebay. Just as the “Grasshopper” in the 1970’s television series Kung Fu finally snatched the pebbles from his Shaolin master’s hand – it was time to leave.
A little over a year ago, we at tse.net made an important decision for our e-commerce sites. We were at a point of becoming angered at the 20th century style merchant accounts we were using. Not only had they become obsolete in their practices, those old style merchant accounts had become more of a burden than they were worth. A simple conversation with them was enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure even with the most simple situation or glitch which they were now initiating on an ever increasing regularity.
We searched all the merchant account providers to find one that had the aptitude needed for 21st century business. We interviewed them and found the same, basic failures in communication and support.
We then called Paypal support and interviewed them with the same leading questions. Ironically, we found they had a type of self-doubt that they have become a possible leader in e-commerce transactions. We were now having great success with Paypal. Every Paypal transaction now went without a hitch. Even people without a Paypal account were choosing Paypal to complete their transactions with us and entering their card information for Paypal to process.
I remember quite well the response of the Paypal support person. They expressed that Paypal was a good addition to our merchant account offering. When I said they could be our primary processor, it was like asking a computer to divide by zero.
We had attempted to integrate Paypal back in 2005 with disastrous results. We were utilizing MIVA MERCHANT at the time and the modules just didn’t interface with Paypal very well. Every Paypal transaction back then was problematic. As a regular buyer on Ebay at the time, in my experience Paypal was working very well with Ebay. But it didn’t work very well integrating with other sites back then as Paypal’s wings were not very strong and its feathers were still quite small. Staying in its own nest of Ebay, it did fine.
Fast forward to early 2014. We were now using newer, better technology and all our bumps and bruises from the school of hard knocks we had long graduated from had healed. We had matured to a level of genuine e-commerce savvy as did many of the amazonian sized websites out there. We decided to try again and Paypal was working for us.
The older mindsets of those 20th century merchant account providers were as if they were becoming senile. Because of the sheer ignorance and convoluted practices we were increasingly encountering with traditional merchant accounts, we made a decision to switch exclusively to Paypal as it was now offering better options. It was the best decision we ever made. At the time it was quite scary!
In business – just as in nature –
There is nothing new under the sun.
We did a redesign of all our e-commerce sites and began to ONLY offer Paypal. We included explanations in our checkout process that that customers did not need a Paypal account to pay with Paypal.
This aspect of being able to enter a card for payment rather than being required to have a Paypal account is the most brilliant offering Paypal could ever come up with. At the time, Paypal had introduced a traditional style merchant account as an option with all the burdens that go along with merchant accounts. But we decided to use processing similar to how someone would pay after winning an Ebay auction.
Even in the early days when using those old fashioned merchant accounts who had adapted to offer services to e-commerce, we never had the security of our e-commerce systems compromised in any way. One reason is that we are a unique team of professionals in Computer Science and Internet Technology. We did not make a change because of a breech of security, it was because of encumbrance from traditional, 20th century merchant account mind-sets.
Our reasoning was that the general purchasing public was now at least familiar with how using Paypal was a better, safer “alternative”. We were correct. However, we did not realize how correct we were at the time. To this day, the vast majority of our customers enter their card information checking out with Paypal rather than using a Paypal account for payment.
Beyond making everything more simple and secure with Paypal, we no longer have to be concerned with the extra hoops to jump through to be PCI compliant (a security standard necessary for using credit cards for payments) and paying a third party security scanning service. Paypal also offers a level where the process can be embedded into a website while still having PCI compliance for the merchant.
There has to be a level of knowledge and skill to use Paypal properly to provide the best shopping experience for a customer. A pleasurable and trusting experience for the shopper can be achieved while remaining PCI compliant. We have PCI compliance through applying Paypal in the proper way. Because Paypal makes all this so much easier pleases us to no end.
Going it alone with your website PCI compliance is complicated and costly. It is also frustrating.
In the early days, I was once on a 3-way call with a merchant account provider and a 3rd party security scanning company representative. The merchant account provider was completely confused and flabbergasted by the process which made me feel uneasy dealing with that merchant account provider. Not to mention a feeling that the security representative did not appear to fully understand the process either. I was flabbergasted by the complex forms I had to provide. I just wanted to get on with doing honest business while assuring a safe environment for customers.
Using Paypal for e-commerce transactions has allowed us to have a safer and more secure process while avoiding the expensive rigmarole.
How is it possible to avoid the high costs of PCI compliance? Contact us and we will be happy to explain why utilizing our style of integration at tse.net will not only make your e-commerce better, but more secure while decreasing your costs.
Our sales actually increased significantly after dumping the traditional merchant accounts and exclusively using Paypal. Our success was not by accident. It came from many years of experience.
After a lot of analyzing we determined it was how we were utilizing Paypal in our unique way. As a skilled carpenter can swing the same hammer that anyone can buy at a local hardware store, it is because of unique skill and experience where that carpenter achieves the best results above others. With e-commerce and website technology, we at tse.net posses a unique style of integration and application that delivers great results.
Around the same time, a leading provider of WordPress themes had their merchant account infiltrated and compromised. The short version of the story is that they decided to disable the traditional merchant account and use Paypal Express exclusively until they worked out a solution. To this date, they still only use Paypal for transactions. We feel this is just one example that is effecting the entire e-commerce industry.
As Paypal decided to split from Ebay, perhaps they realized they were not only longer a good addition to e-commerce transactions, but could actually replace traditional merchant accounts. They could take the best aspects from the traditional and improve them. As this may be an exercise in business inference, maybe Paypal finally overcame its own immature feelings of inadequacy to realize its true potential.
The real question is about the future of Paypal.
Will Paypal maintain what has made it the successful tool it is while making improvements? Or will it ruin what is making it a true leader in e-commerce by confusing change with growth and diluting its potential?
The answer to that is simple. If Paypal continues to embrace growth which is what is making it become the best, it will continue to succeed and keep tse.net and its other users and clients. If Paypal embraces change and dilutes its core business – all bets are off!
At tse.net – we continue to be autonomous to selecting providers of e-commerce transactions. We will always embrace the best solutions as we have in the past, the present and into the future. While other e-commerce hosts enter relationships with merchant account providers and get a kick-back for selling services, we operate independently in order to offer what is best for you as well as for our own e-commerce transactions.
If tse.net suggests a transaction solution for your unique, individual situation – it is because that solution is best for your business. It is not based on our own profit or behind the scenes deal making. We have skin in the game that your best interest benefits.
Note: tse.net does not have any financial relationship with Paypal other than being a client. We own no stock, interest or have any inside influence. That said, we have no allegance or loyalty other than what a true free market business relationship provides. The strength of tse.net is that we are nimble and use the best tools available to benefit our e-commerce as this practice naturally benefits our clients.