Blogging,  Money Matters,  Tech

Paypal Blogger Dinner & South East Asia based site – Paypal Unbound

Well I couldn’t make it to the Paypal PowerUp event on Saturday (not that there was any space anyway, read the whole fiasco/drama here), so the guys over at Text100 invited me to a Paypal Blogger’s dinner on the 10th of December at Dubrovnik Restaurant, Solaris. It was a small affair – dinner with the bloggers and people from Paypal to discussion features and other issues.

I was a tad late because I had to rush from work and Fridays are quite difficult for me to escape early. Manage to find the place thanks to Nahri frm Text100’s directions. But I came just in time before anything started. Was introduced to Mr Mario Shiliashki, the GM of Paypal SEA, Geert Desager, Senior Marketing Manager and Amy, Head of Cross Border Asia.

As some of you might already know, Paypal has started to expands its services in Malaysia. It first started mid this year when we found out we could link Maybank’s debit card to paypal (tutorial here) then just last month or so, it was possible to withdraw money to our local bank accounts and trade in Ringgit.

Withdrawing money out of Paypal has been troublesome for Malaysian users. Two ways one usually got the funds was by: (1) transferring the Paypal funds to other buyers for cash; or (2) withdrawing to a VISA card which costs USD5 per transaction.

Now, you can withdraw your funds to your local bank accounts for a fee of RM3 if you are withdrawing less thanRM400 (minimum amount is RM40) and completely FREE if you withdraw over RM400. As for trading in Ringgit, this allows you to not lose money on the exchange rate between USD-RM. More details on the features here.

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First question asked was : What was your first experience with Paypal?

I’ve been using Paypal for some time now – based on my transaction history my 1st transaction was 15 Nov 2007 but I’m pretty sure I registered it before that just to see what it is. I used it quite actively before when i was writing paidposts and it was the only way to get my payment.

Back then I didn’t have a card so it just accumulated in there unless I was paying for my hosting and domain names. Then I found that we can sell funds to get money in forums. That’s when my online shopping/ebay phase kicked off. I was actually able to see the money i made online in my pocket. (of course that was 2 years ago before everyone jumped on the make-a-blog-to-get-money bandwagon).

dubrovnik paypal dinner Back to the dinner..

While being served with Croatian delights – omg the Lamb was awesome! Pic above is the chicken, which was a bit salty imo – Mario introduced us to what Malaysian business people wanted most in their business. One of which was cashflow. Im no economist so this is what it basically means in layman terms: getting the money from your customers to you. Traditionally this would mean invoices, cheques and worst, floating time period. Paypal is an instant, secure payment alternative to this.

Another thing that they were excited about was, Paypal for Mobile.  Yeap, now you can send funds and check your balance all through your iPhone. I believe you can download the app from the app store already. There’s also an Android version coming up (or is it already up, not too sure). Now I know not many people have an iPhone or Android phone so we did suggest coming up with a mobile site and/or other apps supported by Blackberry, symbian & java based phones.

Oh yes, they also profusely apologized for the Paypal PowerUp Rejection email (here). Mario took full responsibility for any mistakes made. We discussed and explained that it was the phrase/sentence used and perhaps it was also a case of cultural differences.

Lastly, they introduced us to Paypal Unbound (www.paypalunbound.com), a blog manned by Paypal employees based in Singapore to cater for the South East Asia community. They will post about latest events and insights from different departments and engage their users in SEA for discussions.

All of this sounds very interesting for the future of Paypal here in Malaysia – especially for those of us who rely of Paypal for our bread and butter. Here’s to an interesting partnership with Paypal and its Malaysian users.

Other write ups:

  • Paypal Unbound – First Paypal blogger event in Malaysia
  • Saimatkong – pics all credited to him. Do read his more comprehensive write up

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