I sent my Vision on Payments in 2011 to the CEO of Paypal

Rik Coeckelbergs
6 min readSep 1, 2021

On October 17, 2011, I wrote an email to Scott Thompson, CEO of PayPal back then. I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me, but I needed to get this vision on payments out of my system.

For long, I thought I lost the email, but I found it back today. We are now almost 10 years later, and except for the language mistakes, and the name change of the CEO, I don’t think I would change a lot in this message (yes, I left them in in the below text to keep it authentic).

Before you start reading, keep in mind:

  • I only had 4 years of working experience back then ;)
  • I didn’t get an answer on this email :)

This is what I wrote:

Dear Mr. Thompson,

My name is Rik Coeckelbergs. First of all I would like to apologise for the blunt invitation. We have indeed never done business yet. I know inviting people you don’t know is often a useless activity because it gives no added value at all. However, this time I think it might. At least I thought it might… until just a couple of days after sending the invitation. That will become clearer later.

Let me introduce myself now: some people believe I am an expert in the payments industry. I would rather call myself a dreamer of the payments industry. After all, I am only actively working in the payments industry for 4 years now (I believe I gained a good understanding of payments now). That is also why, in this letter I will not go further on my experience, but rather on why I believe there is a possibility for a global payments company to become a general platform for payment services, like Apple is for media services.

When that idea came up, I hadn’t really seen any initiative in the market that was going far enough. Now the last week PayPal did some announcements that made me realise that maybe you are already setting up this framework, but I am not sure. That is why I will send you my vision anyway and then you can see what to do with it.

Please keep in mind this is my personal opinion and not professionally related to any other business or person.

So a week ago, on Saturday, I was reading several articles on Apple and Steve Jobs and I started thinking

Rik Coeckelbergs

Independent advisor and opinion maker in banking and payments. Like my opinion, why not support it? https://rik-coeckelbergs.medium.com/membership