Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

PayPal’s “killer app” — and how they screwed it up

I use PayPal almost exclusively for my online transactions. It’s fast, it’s easy, and very convenient. I go out of my way to find merchants that accept PayPal as a payment option. Unfortunately as I turn more and more of my shopping online I’m finding that many niche stores don’t offer PayPal as a payment type, just credit cards, which is okay, but I’d prefer to use PayPal for all my online purchases.

PayPal’s “Killer App”

The PayPal blog details what I consider to be their “killer app”: The PayPal Browser Plug-In.

I’m usually opposed to BHO’s, toolbars, and other stuff that gunks up my web browser, so when I recommend one, you know it’s good.

This does several things that are just cool:

  • You can auto-fill the form (cool, but has never been worth it a separate download/install)
  • You can quickly view your PayPal balance

And the killer app? You can generate a “secure card” What’s a Secure Card? It’s a one-time-use credit card number that you can use to make payments to merchants that don’t accept PayPal as a payment method.

But it does more than just that. Even if you wouldn’t have used PayPal, this keeps your personal credit card number secure. You no longer have to send your credit card number whizzing through cyberspace to a merchant that you may only buy from one time. That’s awesome and a long time in coming. I’ve heard that American Express has offered this service to some of their customers from some time now, but it’s always been a process of logging in to their site, navigating to the one-time-use card number generator, then going back to the vendor, and filling in all the blanks. What a pain for a bit of added security. PayPal puts all this in your web browser right at your finger tips.

How they screwed it up

I first learned about PayPal’s browser plug-in just after Firefox released their latest browser (3.0). I visited and was greeted with an ad to download their “new plug-in.” So I did. And it installed. And it asked me to restart Firefox. So I did. When Firefox 3 restarted I was told I had an incompatible plug-in and I should check for updates. So I did. No updates for the PayPal Plug-in that I’d just installed. Nice.

To Whom Should we Complain?

Chris George from PayPal’s financial products team is the guy to direct your anger, frustration, and angst.

Why, Chris George, didn’t you detect that I was running Firefox 3 and decide to NOT show me the ad for the plug-in that’s NOT compatible with my browser?

Why, Chris George, now that Firefox 3 has been out for a while do you NOT have an update for your plug-in?

You commented on your blog post that the 2.1 version of the plug-in would add Firefox 3 support and would be available in “late July.” You can’t get much later in July than today, the 30th of July.

Email or and complain. Tell them Chris George of the PayPal financial products team promised an update by the end of July


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3 Responses

  1. Disciples says:

    (EDITORS NOTE: Wow… I remember this Ponzi Scheme back when you had to send $1 bills and bulk-chain mail letters. Interestingly enough, here’s the PayPal version. I’ve removed the list of email addresses and replaced them all with mine – for illustration purposes only. Do not participate in schemes like this. Even if you don’t care if they’re border-line illegal, they bug the crap out of us honest folk.)

    1) An email address
    2) A PayPal account
    3) $6.00

    Here is how it works:
    There is a list of 6 email addresses (you’ll see it as you read further).Each of these people has already taken part in this system. When someone new receives this mail or comes along (such as yourself) he/she implements the system below and #1 moves off of the list. This moves the other five email addresses up one position (i.e. #6 goes to #5, #5 to #4, etc.), and places their PayPal email address in the #6 position. This process is what develops the power of compounding. The bottom line is this system needs Honesty and Integrity creates Profitability.
    Following this EXACT process is what creates the money, and that is why this system has been raved about in the media. Altering the system creates weak results. The legality of this system comes from the idea that you are of course creating a mailing list, and a “service” is being provided (more on that later.) Now on to how your $6.00 creates BIG money!

    STEP 1: The first thing to do is highlight and SAVE this entire post in wordor notepad on your computer so you can come back to it later. After that, ifyou are not already a PayPal user you need to go to the PayPal website at PayPal and SIGN UP. If you want to be able to receive credit card payments from other people then you will need to sign up for a PREMIER or BUSINESS account (not just a PERSONAL account). This is highly recommended to allow others easy payment options. In order to place the initial $6 into your account, you will have to verify your bank account with PayPal (which may take a few days). PayPal is 100% secure and is used by millions of people worldwide.

    STEP 2: Here is where the action occurs. The first thing to do is to send a$1.00 payment to each of the 6 email addresses on the current list from your PayPal account.
    To do this quickly and successfully, follow these simple steps:1. Login to PayPal and click on the “Send Money” tab near the top of thescreen2. In the “Recipient’s Email” field enter the “email address” (form the listbelow)

    Step 3. In the “Amount” field enter “1” (This is your $1.00 payment)

    Step 4. In the “Category” field select “Service” (Keeping it legal)

    Step 5. In the “Subject” field type “EMAIL LIST”, and in the “NOTE” field enter”PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR EMAIL LIST”. By doing this, you are creating a service and maintaining the legality of the system by “paying” for the service.

    Step 6. Finally, click on the “Continue” button to complete the payment.Repeat these steps for each of the 6 email addresses. That’s it! By sending the $1.00 payment to each address, you are implementing the compounding POWER of the system. You will reap what you sow!
    Here is the current e-mail list that you need to use to keep the integrity of the system going:

    The email list:


    STEP 7: Now take the # 1 email off of the list that you see above (from your saved file), move the other addresses up (6 becomes 5, 5 becomes 4, etc.)and add YOUR email address (the one used for your PayPal account) as number6 on the list. This is the only part of the document that should be changed.** Make sure your email address is the one you have registered with PayPal**

    STEP 8: Post your amended article to at least 200 newsgroups or message boards. Keep in mind that there are tens of thousands of groups online! All you need is 200, but remember the more you post the more money you make – as well as everyone else on the list! I’ve began to see money roll in before I even hit 100 posts, but try to hit around 200 to allow maximum exposure. Use Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or whatever your internet browser is to search for various news groups, on-line forums, message boards, bulletin boards, chat sites, discussions, discussion groups, on-line communities, etc. By posting to the message sites it gets out to more people in chats and online forums. You could send it to 200 hundred friends and get the same results. The more places it is distributed the more it will be seen, right?
    Example for you:
    Log on to any search engine like or and type in a subject like ‘MILLIONAIRE MESSAGE BOARD’, ‘MONEY MAKING DISCUSSIONS’, ‘MONEYMAKING FORUMS’, or ‘BUSINESS MESSAGE BOARD’, etc. You will find thousands and thousands of message boards. Click them one by one and you will find the option to post a new message. Fill in the subject which will be the header that everyone sees as they scroll through the list of postings in a particular group, and post the article with the NEW list of email addresses included. THAT’S IT! All you have to do is jump to different newsgroups and post away. After you get the hang of it, it will take about 30 seconds for each newsgroup.

    When you post 200 messages in various forums, it is estimated that at LEAST15 people will respond and send you a $1.00 ($15.00). Those 15 will Post 200Posts each and 225 people send you $1.00 ($225.00), etc. through 6 levels of email addresses. For comprehension purposes, here is an easy viewing chart:
    1) 15(1) = 15 people ($1) = $15
    2) 15(15) = 225 people ($1) = $225
    3) 15(225) = 3375 people ($1) = $3375
    4) 15(3375) = 50625 people ($1) = $50625
    5) 15(50625) = 759375 people ($1) = $759375

    As you can see, your $6.00 has multiplied exponentially. What other opportunity that is as simple as this can cash in the way this can? I’m not going to say this is going to make everyone over $800,000, but within a few hours, days, and weeks you begin to see results, thanks to the speed of the internet!

    When your name is no longer on the list, take the latest posting in the news groups and begin the process again. Follow the system as described, and enjoy your additional profits!


    Your name could continue in the list for months and it will keep paying because, “What’s six bucks?” This is excellent seed money to start or expand a business, buy your dream home, car and pay off whatever bills you may have. Good luck!

  2. Joe says:


    It’s now the middle of August, two weeks after PayPal said the 2.1 version of their plugin with FF3.0.1 support would be out. According to FF’s “check for updates” mechanism, there are no updates.

    Well, other than Paypal’s plugin installation page saying it’s compatible with Firefox 2.0 and 3.0… so here I go… installing…

  3. Joe says:

    PayPal Plugin 2.1.54 is now available for download and it … wait for it … wait for it… DOES work with Firefox 3.0.1! Whahoo!

    Now, why didn’t they push an auto-update through Firefox’s update mechanism? Why didn’t they mention the new version in the comment thread on the PayPal Plugin blog article?


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