When 1998 was "born" PayPal, the data in the internet world was quite different. There were no Social Media, there was no YouTube, while internet purchases were much more limited than today. Nonetheless, the innovative online payment platform won the bet.
The numbers are impressive: about 11,5 million payments are now made via PayPal, on a daily basis. The platform is available on 203 markets, allowing its users to trade in dozens of different currencies.
Η HuffPost Greece met his Business Development Leader PayPal in Central and Eastern Europe, Ghana Yeftushenko, as part of the Magento & PayPal Meet-up event. In the interview she gave us, she talks about what will be the next moves of the company in our country, while it is interesting that, as she emphasizes, Greece is one of the most developing markets in Europe, in terms of online shopping.
What exactly is PayPal? Because someone who is unfamiliar with the internet may not know
Simply put, PayPal is an online payment platform. Through which anyone can buy, for example, travel tickets or gadgets. The successful idea of PayPal is based primarily on 3 things: that transactions can be made quickly, easily and safely. So we have managed to expand to many countries in the world and too many people trust our internet platform for their online purchases.
How many businesses work with PayPal here in Greece?
There are thousands of businesses. Big or smaller. We work with, for example, MediaMarkt, Wind and TravelPlanet24.
When you are a travel site with customers from many countries, you probably will not trust them all for their transactions or their credit cards may not work. These problems are solved by PayPal, since they can be traded regardless of country, and when a user sees on your site that they can pay in this way, it actually serves as a "safety bump" and they immediately trust you.
What are your future plans in terms of activation in our country?
What we want in principle is to work with as many successful Greek businesses as possible. We also want to help these businesses grow abroad. Because when we talk about an internet business, in fact it is not only for the public of Greece, but also for people from many countries of the world.
At the same time, we want to work with as many innovative businesses as possible that make life easier for people. Such a case is the Taxibeat. Through which you can easily find a taxi, without having to wait, as it was in the past years.
Our goal is also to work with new startups, which are constantly up and running and have prospects for rapid growth.
At what level is, in your opinion, online shopping here in Greece?
According to the information we have as PayPal at our disposal, I have to tell you that Greece is currently one of the most growing markets in Europe in the e-shopping segment. Many small or larger online businesses are constantly opening up. And the important thing is what I said before: that through the internet these businesses can reach customers from all parts of the earth.
The financial crisis has affected your operation in Greece?
The truth is we have not been affected. By seeing our numbers, we find that we are doing very well despite the crisis. One reason is probably that citizens are now looking for the best deals on the internet. That is where we operate. Personally, I am Head of Business Development of PayPal in Central and Eastern Europe and I can tell you that compared to other countries, Greece is a very friendly market.
What kind of products do the Greeks buy online, based on the data you have in your hands?
The most popular categories are electronics and clothes. In the first category, most Greeks are looking for good opportunities in countries like China and America. In the second category, most consumers in your country order products from Britain or Italy. There are, of course, other products that are in demand such as books and jewelery. But surely the most popular categories are electronics and clothes.
What are the PayPal goals for 2015 worldwide?
Our goal is always the same. We want anywhere in the world, everyone can make electronic transactions through PayPal. As far as I know, the activities of ebay and PayPal will be separated this year and will become two autonomous listed companies. We also have a new CEO for a few months. All of this, however, does not seem to affect our overall strategy, which remains stable, on a global level.