Timeline of PayPal

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This is a timeline of online money transfer and e-commerce service PayPal, owned by eBay from 2002 to 2014 and an independent company before and after that.

Big picture

Time period Key developments at PayPal
January 1999 – March 2000 The two companies, Confinity and X.com, that will eventually merge to become PayPal, launch separately and build competing financial products. The first iteration of the PayPal product is released by Confinity in later 1999.
March 2000 – July 2002 Confinity and X.com merge. The combined entity, initially called X.com, later changes its name to PayPal. PayPal adopts eBay as a key platform to grow its userbase, because of the need for an online payment system on eBay. eBay responds with its own payment service, Billpoint. PayPal competes fiercely with Billpoint, raises a huge amount of money, and even IPOs in February 2002.
October 2002 – mid-2010 PayPal is acquired by eBay. The product and userbase grow steadily, faster than the parent company eBay.
mid-2010 – September 2014 PayPal moves aggressively into new territory, including micropayments, mobile payments, in-store payments, international expansion, and more tools for small and medium businesses. It debuts new hardware and collaborates with brick and mortar stores for its in-store payments options. It acquires competitor startup Braintree, a payments gateway company.
September 2014 onward It is announced that PayPal will be split off eBay. The split will be completed by the second quarter of 2015.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Event
1998 December Company launch Confinity, the company that would later launch the first version of PayPal, is founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek. The company idea is due to Max Levchin, and Thiel is initially interested only in being an investor, but Levchin convinces Thiel to become CEO of the company.
1999 January Company launch X.com, the company that would later merge with Confinity to become PayPal, is launched by Elon Musk.[1]
1999 July Product launch Confinity announces the launch of online payment service PayPal, intended to be usable via a web browser and via a Palm Pilot. At the launch party in July, Nokia Ventures uses PayPal to send $3 million in venture capital investment on-stage.[2][3]
1999 September Product launch The product is launched to the public.[4]
1999 November Product launch Confinity launches a fully functional PayPal website and the staff send emails to their friends offering $1 for signing up.[3][5][1]
1999 December Product launch Financial services company X.com, headed by chairman Elon Musk and CEO Bill Harris, adds online payment to its online account service, and makes it their product focus.[3][6]
1999–2000 December–February Customer focus shift Confinity identifies eBay as a promising area to acquire users, because of the high concentration of buyers and sellers and the absence of any standard payment system for them to use.[3]
2000 March 1 Competition EBay announces Billpoint, its in-house payment service, in collaboration with Wells Fargo. This could pose a serious threat to PayPal, because eBay auctions are a major source of user acquisition for it.[3][6]
2000 February (discussions), March 2 (announcement) Merger Confinity and X.com merge, and the new entity is officially called X.com. Bill Harris remains CEO of the new entity, while Elon Musk remains Chairman. The top tier at Confinity receive vice-presidential titles at the new company.[3][7]
2000 April Leadership change Bill Harris is ousted from the CEO role. Musk takes over the role of CEO and Thiel becomes Chairman. The reason for Harris' departure appears to be his inability to handle the scaling issues posed by PayPal's rapid growth, as well as his continued focus on unproductive approaches such as striking deals with small and unreliable startups.[1][3][7]
2000 June Product PayPal introduces paid accounts for buyers and sellers that require verification and offer guarantees against fraud.
2000 October Leadership change Elon Musk steps down as CEO and Peter Thiel takes over as interim CEO. Musk continues to stay on the Board of Directors.[1][3]
2000 October Product The company closes X.com's financial services in order to focus on the online payment system. The company also decisively switches away from the X.com brand, even though its official name continues to be X.com.[3]
2000–2001 Mid-2000 through all of 2001 Product Max Levchin spearheads efforts to reduce fraud. This would prove to be one of PayPal's decisive sources of advantage, allowing the company to offer an affordable service to customers without hemorrhaging money.[3][8][9] Innovations include one of the web's first commercial implementations of CAPTCHA (in the form of the Gausebeck-Levchin test) and a program called "Igor" that identified and froze online activity that appeared fraudulent.[3][10][11]
2002 February 15 Company IPO PayPal has its initial public offering. The offering is for 5.4 million shares at a share price of $13 (determined the previous evening by Salomon Smith Barney, their investment bank), for a total of $70 million. The valuation of the company is about $800 million. On the launch date, the price of the shares peaks to $22 and closes at $20.[12][3]
2002 July 8 Company buyout It is announced that eBay will acquire PayPal using an all-stock acquisition, for $1.5 billion.[3][13][14]
2002 October Company buyout eBay's acquisition of PayPal is formally completed.[3][15]
2008 January Acquisitions by PayPal PayPal acquires Fraud Sciences, a privately held Israeli start-up company with expertise in online risk tools, for $169 million, in order to enhance PayPal's proprietary fraud management systems.[16]
2008 November Acquisitions by PayPal PayPal acquires Bill Me Later, an online payments company offering transactional credit at over 9000 online merchants in the US.[17]
2009 August Product PayPal launches Student Accounts for teens, allowing parents to set up a student account, transfer money into it, and obtain a debit card for student use. The program provides tools to teach teens how to spend money wisely and take responsibility for their actions.[18][19]
2009 November Product PayPal opens its platform, allowing other services to get access to its code and to use its infrastructure in order to enable peer-to-peer online transactions.[20]
2010 July 28 Product PayPal removes the electronic withdrawal option for users in India.[21]
2010 October 26 Product PayPal unveils micropayments for digital goods, with Facebook as its first customer.[22][23]
2011 January 28 Financial/legal The Reserve Bank of India restricts PayPal payments to merchants to amounts under $100.[24]
2011 June 27 Userbase PayPal reaches 100 million users.[25]
2011 September 25 Userbase PayPal announces that it is processing $315 million in payments per day.[26]
2012 January 6 Product PayPal announces that its first in-store brick and mortar integration will be with Home Depot.[27]
2012 March 15 Product PayPal unveils PayPal Here, its new global payment platform for small and medium-sized businesses, with a swipe-free option for customers, developed in collaboration with card.io.[28][29]
2012 April 4 Product PayPal rebrands its services for small businesses as PayPal Payments and debuts a number of online, offline, and mobile payment options.[30]
2012 May 30 Product PayPal InStore is released in the UK with barcodes, but no NFC.[31]
2012 June 19–20 Product PayPal launches a new, redesigned, sleeker site.[32]
2012 December 13 Product PayPal launches a "PayPal My Cash Card" that people can buy with cash (at pharmacies and supermarkets that make it available) and then use to make online purchases.[33]
2013 September 9 Product PayPal debuts its new hardware platform, Beacon, a Bluetooth LE enabled device that facilitates hands-free checkins and payments.[34]
2013 September 26 Acquisitions by PayPal PayPal acquires payments gateway company Braintree for $800 million USD in cash.[35][36][37][38][39]
2013 November 27 Product PayPal launches support for prepaid gift cards, just in time for the 2013 holiday shopping season.[40]
2014 March 8 Product PayPal rolls out its new "Mobile First" website globally.[41]
2014 May 15 Product The Google Play Store adds PayPal as a payment option, despite it being a direct competitor to Google Wallet. However, PayPal can only be used to buy apps and digital content, not devices and accessories.[42]
2014 June 12 Product, international expansion PayPal launches PassPort, a service aimed at facilitating international sales by merchants.[43]
2014 July 30 Product, international expansion PayPal renames its "Bill Me Later" service as PayPal Credit and expands PayPal Credit as well as PayPal Working Capital internationally.[44]
2014 September 23 Product PayPal enables Bitcoin transactions for merchants selling digital goods, claiming that it would earn transaction revenue through referral fees.[45][46][47] Bitcoin's price rises rapidly in response to the announcement.[48]
2014 September 30 Company restructuring It is announced that PayPal will be split off from eBay.[49][50][51][52][53][54] Both companies would get new CEOs as part of the deal, with eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig taking over at eBay, and PayPal President Dan Schulman presiding at PayPal.[55]
2015 January Product Paydiant & FIS launch Cashless Card Access
2015 March 2 Acquisitions by PayPal PayPal acquires Paydiant, a Boston-based startup that makes mobile wallet technology that powers payment apps for businesses such as Subway, Harris Teeter, and Capital One, and more importantly MCX, a merchant exchange network developing a payment app called CurrentC.[56]
2015 March 10 Acquisitions by PayPal, product, international expansion PayPal acquired CyActive, a predictive malware detection startup based in Israel, and uses the acquisition to kickstart a security hub in Israel.[57][58]
2015 June 3 Legal An as-of-yet unimplemented update to PayPal's terms of service is leaked by GHacks onto the Internet, the terms indicating that customers must agree to accept robocalls from PayPal at numbers not provided to PayPal, which may be procured by PayPal using "alternate means." The leaked terms indicate a customer may accept the terms or close their account.[59] PayPal later announced that the updated terms are intended to "honor customers’ requests to decline to receive auto-dialed or prerecorded calls," causing further confusion and attention from the press.[60]
2015 July 1 Acquisitions by PayPal PayPal agrees to buy Xoom, a San Francisco-based online money transfer technology and services company that went public in 2013, for $25 per share, or $890 million. Xoom's focus is on facilitating international money transfers.[61][62]
2015 November 12 Financial ranking In June 2016, it was announced that PayPal had joined the Fortune 500 for the first time.[63]
2016 January Userbase Venmo processes 1 billion USD in payments in that month
2016 February Product Paypal and Braintree launch PayPal Commerce
2016 February Product Paypal launches redesign of PayPal app
2017 February Product PayPal launched a Slack bot for peer-to-peer payments[64] with the shortcode/paypal and a user’s Slack handle.[65]

References

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