PayPal Launches Virtual Debit Card, Three Days Too Late

By Nathan Weinberg

On December 27, PayPal announced a “virtual debit card”, letting you make online purchases everywhere MasterCard is accepted. One little problem: Christmas was a few days earlier, meaning the online financial service missed the holiday shopping season for some stupid reason.

PayPal’s move was a smart one, devaluing “exclusive” arrangements like the one Google Checkout has with online merchants (in fact, you could use PayPal and Google Checkout on the same purchase, thanks to this). However, PayPal’s timing was so poor, missing the most important and valuable shopping season of the year, that you have to question their management intelligence, or lack thereof. PayPal, and parent company eBay, makes so many bad decisions, that as stupid as some of Google’s moves have been, you have to wonder if this is not a game of who fights the hardest, but who lakes the least dumb moves.

Hat-tip and inspiration: Jason

December 31, 2006 by Nathan Weinberg in:

3 Responses to “PayPal Launches Virtual Debit Card, Three Days Too Late”

  1. menneke Says:

    Well, I don’t know… First of all it’s a BETA release. I can already hear the uproar if Paypal had released this before “the big shopping season” a.k.a christmas, and something had gone terribly wrong. After all, it’s a BETA… shit happens.

  2. Tim Says:

    It requires Windows. And this Virtual Debit Card idea, even though I like it a LOT, sounds awful.

    I don’t want to install software in order to make a purchase, you morons! I think this is mostly targeted at European customers without a credit card (a. k. a. me).

    I’ve also heard they already had this service several years ago, but without requiring software. At some point they removed it. If only I had KNOWN about it!

    I’m still waiting for the ultimate internet payment system. I want privacy, it to be accepted everywhere, my money to be safe, and it to be pay-in-advance (like transfers using your bank account, not the way credit cards work). PayPal does come close, relatively speaking.

  3. Hashim Says:

    Perhaps the system was ready for the load of the biggest shopping season of the year. Who wants to test a beta product when your holiday sales are on the line?

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