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How Does PayPal Respond to the Pandemic? Charitable Giving, Employee Support, and Boosting Small Business

We’re all doing our best, and PayPal is stepping up. This FinTech is offering flexibility to its business clients, consumer base, and global team – and raising $2 million for better health.

PayPal, a Salesforce customer, wrote this article.

When the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, I was two weeks into my new job at PayPal. As the new head of global sales, my main goal was to give my team everything they needed to help our customers. But, of course, the tactics changed dramatically when the world got hit with a health crisis and our entire staff started working from home. A lot has happened since then, but I keep coming back to one idea: How can I help? How do I help our customers? My employees? My family?

Below are a few new ways I’ve been thinking about sales leadership, along with a few actions I’ve taken to guide our employees and be there for my loved ones. Hopefully, it provides the inspiration you’re looking for as we all continue to grapple with our new normal.

Help customers and the community through their own financial crisis

PayPal has always prided itself on our commitment to our customers. The arrival of the coronavirus has only made that more essential. Whether it’s businesses that have closed their physical doors and need to sell online or consumers who are looking for a secure way to pay, we’re here to help.

Within the first month of the pandemic, we enabled 96% of our workforce to work fully from home, ensuring people could continue to use our service to buy food, pay their workers, donate to relief efforts, and send money to loved ones back home.

Employees are juggling work on top of family, health, and safety. So, now’s the time to listen to what they’re going through and let them know you care.

PEGGY ALFORD, EVP, GLOBAL SALES, PAYPAL

We’ve doubled down on our efforts to support small businesses. They’re the foundation of our economy, but most at risk during this time. Many face supply chain challenges. Others don’t have enough capital to survive closures. 

Business owners call our customer service lines, asking how we can help them stay afloat. They’re asking about everything from taking out loans to securing lines of credit for themselves and their customers.

In response, we took several actions to help our merchants access their funds, increase cash flow, expand protections, and defer repayments. These include:

  • Waiving chargeback fees for merchants if their customer files a dispute with their credit card issuer
  • Waiving fees on instant withdrawal of money from a PayPal business account to a bank account, Mastercard Debit, and Visa Debit card
  • Expanding the window of time in which merchants must respond if a customer files a chargeback dispute
  • Allowing merchants with existing PayPal Working Capital, PayPal Business Loans, or LoanBuilder loans to request deferred repayment
  • Temporarily suspending all PayPal Working Capital, PayPal Business Loan, and LoanBuilder repayments for areas that received a Major Disaster Declaration by FEMA

We also launched a website with educational resources to help businesses make the transition online, including insights on maintaining cash flow in the current climate, switching to digital invoicing to save money, and setting payment terms to encourage early payments.

On a consumer level, we leaned into what we’re most known for: paying for online purchases and person-to-person payments. We are covering all transaction fees for donations made to the PayPal Giving Fund to benefit charities. On GivingTuesday alone, we processed a record-breaking $185 million globally for charities such as the American Red Cross, CDC Foundation, World Central Kitchen, and Feeding America.

And we will continue to identify opportunities to do more for all our customers — merchants and consumers — during this difficult period.

Ultimately, this is our time to step up. And it can be yours, too. Think about what your business can offer to help your customers. Is it sharing best practices? Extending payment terms? Or even just listening to what your customers are going through? Every little bit can help build community at a time when many of us may be feeling isolated.

Guide employees through change and work/life balance

In any business, employees are your greatest asset. It’s vital that you take care of them.

At PayPal, we continue to pay employees who can’t work because they’re sick or need to take care of someone who’s sick. We’ve also asked managers to accommodate those with childcare or family care challenges by developing flexible working arrangements to prioritize work/life balance.

I do what I need to do at work, and then I spend time with the kids. It’s not perfect, but I’m trying to be in the moment with the people I love.

PEGGY ALFORD, EVP, GLOBAL SALES, PAYPAL

We sent out surveys for employees to share feedback regularly so we can determine what additional measures may be needed during this time. Our senior leadership team meets daily to discuss those results and other top-of-mind issues to make sure our employees get what they need.

“We believe a healthy workforce will deliver a healthy customer experience,” said my colleague, Dan Torunian, vice president of employee technology and experiences at PayPal.

At the end of the day, policy changes and employee outreach can help ease burdens, but they don’t erase the anxiety many of us are feeling. Sometimes that requires a more personal touch.

I’m taking the time to check in more with my sales teams, whether that’s holding staff meetings or personal one-on-ones. Employees are juggling work on top of family, health, and safety. So, now’s the time to listen to what they’re going through and let them know you care.

We show up for family

During the pandemic, I moved. My college kid returned home after classes were canceled. And I’ve got a 7-year-old and 2-year-old running around in sore need of extra attention. Like many other parents, I am homeschooling, too. How am I dealing? I am planning as best I can and trying to keep a positive attitude.

I do what I need to do at work, and then I spend time with the kids. It’s not perfect, but I’m trying to be in the moment with the people I love — whether that’s leaving the phone at home while we go outside for a walk or rescheduling a meeting until after bedtime.

If you’re like me and you’re navigating both career and family, you’ll never feel like you’ve got the balance completely right, but that’s okay. You’re there. And that in itself helps everyone around you.

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