A third of the UK has a PayPal account

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PayPal’s rise and rise has passed another milestone, as they reach 20 million UK users: more than a third of the adult population now has a PayPal account. Leading internet market research company, Nielsen Online, has named PayPal the UK’s favourite payment provider and most visited financial website, with almost five times more users than its nearest competitor.

PayPal have recently added a number of huge names to their customer list, including New Look and BHS, Dabs.com and Maplin, Dating Direct, and flyMonarch.com. Carl Olav Scheible, Managing Director of PayPal UK, said that “privacy, convenience and choice are what make PayPal such a popular way to pay.”

10 Responses

  1. I was thinking back to about 2003/4 when people used to say you shouldn’t take PayPal on your website because it looked unprofessional. ๐Ÿ˜†

  2. Where are the figures that give the percentage of account holders who are forced to use paypal because ebay have ingrained it so deeply as to form a complete monopoly?

  3. Just out of curiosity why do you think that paypal is better than billpoint was ?

    Now I’d say it might look good that paypal claims to have 20 million UK users, but it that actual paypal users with accounts, passwords and confirmed addresses, I doubt it, much more likely to be a PR figure from unique card numbers going through their system, much like claiming streamline has x users based on however many people use one of their terminals in a shop without knowing who provides the back room stuff.

    Do you think in the future paypal will become another B2B brand unknown to the general public?

    (and for the record I would never use paypal on a site that offered me a choice of going direct to another acquirer, too many cases of credit card companies refusing to accept paypal as a real merchant provider, and if they don’t, why should I)

  4. I think Billpoint was better than PayPal merely because it was “more cuddley”. The marketing was much more UK friendly, but sadly the UK was about the only country it was widely used in. I refused to accept PayPal until Billpoint was no more and they forced me to roll my account over!

    Having said that in todays world PayPal is by far and away most convenient and easiest once you have an account. I always use it if it’s available, I hate having to type card numbers in!

  5. How about a follow up article entitled “95% of UK scammers prefer PayPal” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Seriously as a seller I don’t prefer Paypal but will reluctantly accept it if PayPal will guarantee the ID of the buyer. As a buyer I’m happy to use PayPal or good old bank transfer if the seller has decent feedback, and long-standing history of selling similar articles on eBay. If they appear in the least dodgy then it’s best to pay by PayPal as they almost always side with the buyer.

  6. I don’t get peoples aversion to Paypal, it’s probably more to do with the fee’s and the odd occasional “bad” transaction. But IMHO paypal is simply the THE most economical and easiest way to open your online doors to consumers. I’m sure the doubters will have investigated the expensive and hoop jumping process of getting their own merchant account? Fee’s frankly they deserve them for offereing a method or receiving business that would not exist without them, and “dodgy” transactions, well thats the same with any payment there will always be people who work out how to take advantage of loopholes, even cash gets counterfeited, its just a hazard of business.

    One thing I do hope for however, is to have google checkout and other credit/debit card payment services, integrated into ebay checkout, competition would be good for sellers and buyers. I think if google checkout keeps on growing and in some cases eclipsing paypal then ebay simply won’t have any choice in opening it’s doors to google checkout, consumer is king and all that.

    In the mean time, thank goodness for a service like paypals, I only accept paypal, and we just don’t get the hassle of cheques not arriving, bouncing, having to give my bank account details out to all in sundry for bank transfers etc etc.

  7. Louise,

    eBay has always strongly pushed Paypal, but to describe it as a monopoly is uncharitable. eBay hasn’t (despite much prediction to the contrary) ever made PayPal the only acceptable means of payment and up to now requires it (along with others) only in a handful of categories. Recent changes to make PayPal compulsory for sellers with feedback under 100 are interesting, mind.

    The adoption and usage of PayPal has always seemed to me to be buyer-driven trend. It’s was the ease and convenience that attracts buyers. What’s funny is that PayPal isn’t credited as being one of the engines of the marketplace. By increasing the velocity of a transaction, buyer confidence is increased and more than that, sellers can shift stock more quickly. It’s unthinkable that so many business sellers would be operating so successfully if they were handling a good chunk of payments as cheques.

  8. Buyer adoption in the US was one of the core reasons for eBay taking PayPal over Billpointbut it was the increasing UK adoption of Billpoint that forced PayPal’s hand ever so slightly when it came down to the nitty gritty of the negotiations.


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