2 days after Google kicks off Checkout, PayPal sends an email announcing the opening of a new regional headquarters in Singapore. PayPal Private Limited, as it will be called, will serve non-US and non-EU PayPal customers starting August 1, which is a month from now. In a way, this was destined to happen, and hopefully the new dispensation will offer better services.

To your advantage, opening and using a PayPal account is very easy. All you need is a verified email address to get started. When PayPal saw the opportunity in the online payments business, there were only a handful of players in the field. Keeping it easy makes PayPal the most accepted face among countless online small business owners. Although PayPal charges a good amount for its services, people take it easy. For most of them, PayPal remains the only option because, among other reasons, setting up the payment gateway itself is prohibitively expensive.

However, there are complaints and often frayed temperament. Getting responses from PayPal is never easy. Sometimes it seems that all your fervent pleas are falling on deaf ears. For small entities, there is yet another problem. You will not be able to get hold of your money unless you reach a threshold limit, usually $ 150.

When eBay acquired PayPal, their business exploded. EBay sellers are encouraged to use PayPal as their preferred mode of payment. However, most of the time, sellers outside the US, EU, and other wealthy countries receive PayPal payments after a long delay. This is not the case if you prefer direct delivery of the sale amount, and by doing so you can also avoid PayPal’s high check writing fees. Adding up, one gets the idea that the combination of eBay + PayPal is not equally useful for all sellers.

There are other concerns as well. PayPal’s resource-rich information attracts hordes of hackers and online thieves to take advantage of. This means that on many occasions, due to none of your deliberate wrongdoing, your legitimate account may be frozen along with the money it contains.

As PayPal spread far and wide, the above problems should have led you to systematically diversify and organize your services on time. That wasn’t until Google arrived on the scene. The arrival of Google has been rumored since last April. So, finally, PayPal rolled up its sleeves and began to think seriously. Singapore’s proposed setup is an indication of that. PayPal’s Singapore unit is expected to address customer issues promptly. On the one hand, why not make direct bank transfer of payments easy for your customers, say in India, like PayPal does for your customers in the US, the EU, and some other countries.

Currently the payment is for US buyers and sellers only, there is no doubt that Google will also offer the service elsewhere in the near future. For AdWords users, Checkout is expected to be a boon. Who knows, as time goes on, Google may even tempt governments to use its discounted service for different revenue drives. Google is not known for playing a secondary role in everything it does. Therefore, Checkout will very soon become a serious competitor to PayPal.

PayPal users are unlikely to unceremoniously abandon it in favor of Checkout (as it becomes available). In any case, the Checkout functions are still in a stage of evolution. In all likelihood, the PayPal customer will also become a Checkout user and weigh the pros and cons before choosing one over the other. To that extent, PayPal still has some time. What about new customers? It’s hard to risk a guess here. I won’t bet my money on either of us succeeding, at least until the dust clears or the fight starts in earnest. After all, it’s my money, darling!

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