PayPal announced yesterday that it has surpassed 100 million registered users. Not bad for a seven-year-old company.
What jumped out at me is that these 100 million users are distributed across 55 countries. Although eBay won’t release the ratio of US PayPal users to non-US PayPal users, my guess is that roughly 65% of registered PayPal users are American. Although eBay now has more non-US registered users than US users, PayPal is destined to play catch up. While eBay does business in 30+ markets, PayPal does business in 14 (up from 10 last year). That’s because it’s one thing to localize a Web site, it’s another thing to get regulatory approval to support a new currency; PayPal currently supports seven.
The only threat I see to PayPal’s success is this incessant amount of phishing spam I keep getting. The stuff is getting more and more sophisticated and I can’t imagine the damage it’s doing to people who get lured to some dummy site to input their account information. It’s getting so I just assume the latest PayPal (or eBay) email I get is spam, which it usually is. That said, I’ve learned to sort the credible from the spam and perhaps the rest of the world will do it too — at least until Google launches its payment tool.