Sunday, November 13, 2011

Country barriers

It's a bit astonishing to me how strong country- and language-barriers still are, this far into the 21st century. If I'm mentioning Paypal to my friends in Denmark, for example, the answer is often "what's that?".
OK, so probably Paypal doesn't have a Danish operation, but to not even have heard of the biggest online payment system in the world is to me, amazing. I first heard of Paypal about 11 years ago, and I've heard about it in various ways probably once a week since then on average.
I even heard from a modern, educated, Danish woman: "Amazon, what's that?" Same comments apply. The biggest, most famous, most successful online allround store in the world.

I guess one of the differences is that for me personally, there's a strong drive to be involved with the Internet, as a creator and a user. The instant global communication is absolutely fascinating to me, has been since I first heard of it in 1994, and is still.  But for most people, if they can get all they need from TV and the stores they've always used, well, they're satisfied.

23 comments:

Anna said...

Hehe, you probably don't need country borders for that. You know the information you need. Some people still don't use much internet.

Timo Lehtinen said...

I doubt that PayPal is bigger than SWIFT. But who knows, it might be.

Anyway, you'll find many non-PayPal users in U.K. too. Being familiar with PayPal is more a question of if you've had a need for it or not. Some people don't trade with individuals in other countries.

Raf said...

Im hoping paypal will be superseded by bitcoin asap

Philocalist said...

Who / what are SWIFT???? :-)

I spend half my life online with work or otherwise, and I've no recollection of ever hearing of them!

OK - I know Google will give me the info PDQ ... but it proves a point, even at my own expense, no? :-)

Philocalist said...

.....and the very next 'Captcha' offered to me is....

Fook! :-)

Timo Lehtinen said...

Who / what are SWIFT???? :-)

SWIFT is what gets used when you tell your bank to take money out of your account and send it to an account of some other bank in some other country.

It is how international money transfers have been done since the 1970s.

Philocalist said...

It seems that country borders are entirely unnecessary!
I'm not exactly a stranger to sending money internationally, and even then have never heard mention of SWIFT! :-)
The 'familiar' term in my case would be 'IBAN'.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I BAN all acronyms from this blog.

I've used my bank's SWIFT number for international payments since the nineties. In the past few years IBAN has been demanded to. I have no clue, I just pack in all the data I get, and hope it all works!

Timo Lehtinen said...

internationally, and even then have never heard mention of SWIFT! :-)

Banks have their own marketing names for these services.

The 'familiar' term in my case would be 'IBAN'.

IBAN is an international standard specifying a format for bank account numbers.

BIC is an international standard specifying a format for identifying a bank. In the past, this used to be called "SWIFT code" or "SWIFT ID".

When you initiate a SWIFT transfer, you need to tell your bank the payee's BIC and IBAN.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks dude. I did not know that BIC and SWIFT code were the same thing.

Anonymous said...

The biggest, most famous, most successful online allround store in the world.

The U.S. one seems to be the only real "allround" store - there are many things offered on it that aren't available from the UK, Canadian, German, or French Amazon.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Are there? I use the UK one a lot, and it's rare I have to look elsewhere for anything I'm likely to buy on the Internet.

Seth Armstrong said...

I know that Amazon.ca doesn't have much compared to Amazon.com, and the latter often won't ship to Canada so I'm forced to look elsewhere.

Im hoping paypal will be superseded by bitcoin asap

A lot of people are using Google Checkout these days. As someone who got fucked by Ebay, I'd rather not use Paypal which they own.

Anonymous said...

I stopped using Ebay for selling when they changed their feedback policy. I still buy occasionally.

Timo Lehtinen said...

Im hoping paypal will be superseded by bitcoin asap

My sentiments exactly. Bitcoin is the work of a genius.

A lot of people are using Google Checkout these days.

Google Checkout is only for the merkans and the brits. No can do here in Europa. But I'm not sure it's a good idea to open your finances to the big G in any case.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Bitcoin sounds interesting.
I would imagine it takes a lot of work and resources to make up and keep up security for a money-exchange system, since per definiton such systems attract those who want to get at the money without permission. I wonder how bitcoin can create the security without the costly resources.

Timo Lehtinen said...

I wonder how bitcoin can create the security without the costly resources.

Why not read up on it? Unless you prefer wondering, of course.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I tried their site, it was not so helpful.
Their intro vido talked about computers "mining" bitcoins, like they are created out of nothing, instead of work or exchange. Sounds odd.

I've instapapered the wiki article, I just hope it's not too dry. I find that the essence of something can usually be explained in a few hundred words, but it very rarely is because few have the minds to do that, so the great majority of articles go on forever before they ever state the essence, if they ever do get around to it.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Update:
Like I'd half expected, the wikipedia article is written by somebody who has left the viewpoint of the layman behind decades ago. It's all but unreadable to me.

I'll try and dig a bit more on their own site.

Timo Lehtinen said...

talked about computers "mining" bitcoins, like they are created out of nothing, instead of work or exchange.

Bitcoins are created out of nothing. Like gold, they are first mined, and once they exist, they can then be used for exchange.

Try listening to Steve Gibson's explanation in Security Now 287 (Bitcoin segment starts at 0:41:56). Steve has a knack for explaining complex issues for the layman.

Bitcoin really is very very clever. As you know, in my opinion there has been hardly any innovation in software for more than two decades. But THIS now is true innovation. Bitcoin completely blew my mind when I first looked in to it.

The interesting thing is that the inventor is unknown. It's like God dropped the idea on the planet.

Seth Armstrong said...

Google Checkout is only for the merkans and the brits.

Well, I'm neither of those.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, I'm watching that video.

--
I didn't know G Checkout was limited to US and UK. Too bad.

Dave Nielsen said...
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