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“Business owners realized that they must develop their online sales, otherwise they will become irrelevant“

Mind The Tech TLV

“Business owners realized that they must develop their online sales, otherwise they will become irrelevant“

PayPal’s Efi Dahan said companies who didn’t make the transition to online shopping had a hard time surviving the Covid-19 era

Elihay Vidal | 17:43  08.12.2020
“The pandemic’s main impact on eCommerce was the realization by business owners that having a digital presence is not something that’s ‘nice-to-have’ but rather a necessity,” Efi Dahan, PayPal’s Senior Director and General Manager, for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Israel, and Latin America, said at Calcalist’s Mind the Tech TLV 2020 conference. “Business owners realized that they must develop their online sales, otherwise they will become irrelevant in the future. Those who responded quickly at the start of the outbreak — prepared the site, laid out the infrastructure, streamlined service procedures, and improved the user experience — were able to grow their business and profit. Those who were left behind had a hard time surviving this period,” Dahan said.

According to Dahan, Israeli small businesses took a leap forward and did it quickly. “Nowadays, 40% of all small businesses in the country sell online and one in six sells abroad too. What characterized this period more than anything was that older people, those 60 and up, also entered the scene and 70% currently make purchases online. Since 70% of older Israelis and 85% of younger people shop online, we are in every market. That said, over the past year we have seen a sharp increase in the purchase of online courses or lessons that switched from physically attended programs to fully online based ones.”

Efi Dahan at Mind the Tech Efi Dahan at Mind the Tech Efi Dahan at Mind the Tech
Asked about PayPal’s competition with credit card companies and payment apps, Dahan said “competition is a wonderful thing, which makes everyone sharper and ends up leading to better service, both for the customers and for the sellers. Our service policy is to be as flexible as we can, offering as many optional features as we can in countries where it can be done with a push of a button: loans, credit, convenient payment solutions that can help us pay using a variety of options, with our credit cards or digital wallets.”

“Such technology is extremely popular in some parts of the world, while in others it has only been used in a limited way. People are very interested in technology that enables safe shopping. We launched our service in Europe, the U.S., and the Far East very successfully, without the need for touching money, cards, or a screen — simply by scanning a code — which provides a convenient, safe, and secure purchase experience. We will see more and more payments being made with touchless technology, “Dahan predicted.

Addressing PayPal’s announcement that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, Dahan said the company had begun researching the digital currency a number of years ago. “We took all the necessary steps to enter the field in a significant, yet safe way. At the moment the service is available in the U.S. but will expand to other countries. Nowadays, you can buy and use Bitcoin as a currency, just like the dollar. You can hold it in your wallet, you can make and receive payments, and it’s only the beginning. I suppose there will be many more developments in the world and I hope they reach our region too.”

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