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PayPal Empowers the Smallest of the SME's

I just can't believe this. I've blogged a link about this just a few minutes ago yet I can't seem to stop myself from writing ecstatically about this huge, huge news. PayPal is here (and when I say here, I mean I can actually feel its existence through some sort of a benefit). I guess I can't stress that enough. Sometimes, I feel like I was the last to know about this, but if I were, then that's probably PayPal's fault because they e-mailed me late. I got the notification of balance withdrawal through local bank account just this Monday, 28th of January. But why are there no announcements in the trimedia (print, tv, radio)? Or maybe I just wasn't reading, watching tv or listening to radio enough? This is big news for the Filipinos, for the small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, IT-enabled services freelancers like web designers, consultants and probloggers. Most of all, this is big news for the Philippine e-commerce industry. Until now, Filipinos are still wary about online shopping. Although statistics show that more and more Filipinos are buying online now, transactions are limited to credit card holders (buyers) and giant retail and wholesale companies (sellers) who can afford to set-up a shopping cart with an integrated payment gateway. And even if you had a card, you'd still think twice about buying online because, honestly, it's expensive. There are online stores that charge way too high for certain items you know you could buy cheaper somewhere near you. Well, we can't really blame them. Software is expensive, shopping carts, payment gateways, SSL certificates, mail listings software, SEO..the list is endless. Somehow, someone's gotta pay for those. And sadly, customers will likely be affected by being charged sometimes outrageous prices already. PayPal doesn't really level out the playing field but it does give us power, probably even more than we can wield. Now, more than ever, any small sized business, even the smallest of the small, like ours can benefit from this new payment mode. No more expensive and separate shopping carts and payment gateways. PayPal has it. And, it works.
I remember when I first found out about online shopping at Multiply. My initial reaction was "How will I pay online? Credit card, I guess?" Finding out eventually that payments will be made through Globe G-Cash or bank deposit was great. The Pinoy entrepreneur is truly ingenious. And now, with PayPal as additional or even primary payment support, we're opening ourselves into a whole new world of opportunities.
When I signed up for PayPal late September of last year, I felt it wasn't really that useful to me. All it was to me was a more secure way of paying online (if I were to believe PayPal's claim of its reliable financial information storage and secure data transmission through encryption). It was awfully useless since I can't withdraw PayPal balances (if there were any) to a local account. At that time, withdrawal was allowed solely to a US bank account, which sadly, not all of us have. But now, although we're not 100% PayPal-enabled yet ( as I write this, PayPal balances can't be withdrawn as USD currency and transferred to a local bank dollar account; balances which are in USD are still converted in the local currency when withdrawn to a local account; also, all payment transactions are in USD, PhP is still excluded from the PayPal currency service). We're not there yet, but we'll get there. Anyway, while we're waiting, the Pinoy ingenuity will work its wonders, as it always has, with or without PayPal.