And you do. On some level. You may use it, but my guess is you don't like it. I knew deep down that I didn't like it and I thought about why...
I am helping to organize a Madden Playstation tournament where the fee is five bucks. I am accepting payment online, using PayPal, and I have more complaints about PayPal than I have signups. This frustrated me a bit, as I didn't perceive paying via PayPal as being such a pain in the ass. I got mad at the people who didn't want to use PayPal. It's convenient, it' easy, anyone can do it....what the hell?
Once the anger settled, I thought about usability and the cornerstone of designing something that is usable. First you need to think of the lowest common denominator - the person going on the web for the very first time. Then you need to put your preconceived notions of what you think works aside, and listen to what the majority thinks, does, and says. If you curse out your users for being dumb when they can't figure out your site, and refuse to change because you think that your system is fine the way it is, you are dead in the water. Pack up and go home now, because it is over. I often have a hard time coming to this point - but this time around I did and I learned as a result. I think PayPal is fine. Others clearly do not. But why?
I dug some more, and I asked around. I went through the angry anti-PayPal emails from purchasers and I realized that it really has less to do with the actual product, but more to do with the perception of the product - the brand and how people identify it. Changing the whole brand identity is no small task, so I thought about how some small layout changes might help people get past what seem to be the typical roadblocks and abandonment points.
The biggest detractor on the purchaser side seems to be the misconception that you need a PayPal account in order to pay someone who is collecting via PayPal. I am not sure why people think that, as when you click through on a "pay by PayPal" link, you are given the option to login and pay from your existing PayPal account, or you can skip right by and just enter your credit card and billing information and be done. Although this seems painfully clear to me on the landing page, for some reason countless people seem to abandon at this point. Most likely because the ability to just pay using a credit card and no PayPal account is not made clear enough to the user. A simple change to the layout here may help this confusion. Perhaps PayPal should make the landing page be a single page with the billing and credit card information on one form. For those that may already have a PayPal account, a small link outside of the form prompting a login would suffice. If you are a PayPal user you more than likely know your way around by now and can deal with the smaller link for login. This change, in my opinion, would improve usability from the purchaser side dramatically. Users would hit that page and see instantly that they could enter CC and billing info into a single form on a single page and submit. Transaction over.
As it sits now, you enter personal information (shipping/billing info) on one page, and then credit card info on a following page. It isn't clear (or as clear as it could be) that this page is the same as any normal online credit card payment page and not part of the signup process for a PayPal account. It seems that for the most part, people do not want to get sidetracked and sign up for a payment system they have no interest in on the way to purchasing something. More than likely, they have already signed up somewhere else when shopping for the item they are about to purchase, and asking them to signup for something else just to pay for it doesn't sit well. Again, I understand that this is not what is happening, I am merely pointing out that at quick glance people seem to think that this is what is happening and abandon purchases at this point far more than they should.
To wrap...keep it simple, keep it clear, keep it on one page. And make it obvious that you don't need a PayPal account to pay someone who is collecting via PayPal. I don't want to give up on this product, but at the same time I also don't want to continue to lose sales because of it.