How they do it: When a merchant accepts a payment via PayPal (e.g. for his E-Commerce shop), the funds are first collected from the customer’s PayPal balance or credit card. Only after PayPal asserted that the payment is genuine and it received the funds from the customer, the payment is ”deposited” virtually in the merchant’s account. Subsequently, the merchant may then transfer the funds to his regular bank account. Both merchant and customer balances lead to PayPal holding an immense amount of funds ”virtually” on his platform, before the funds are at a later stage liquidated or transferred away from the platform.
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How they do it: Amazon Web Services offers pricing for it’s computing pricing on an annual, pre-paid schedule. These so-called ”Reserved Instances” provide customers with a significant discount (up to 75%) compared to On-Demand instance pricing.
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How they do it: Lufthansa flights are paid right away when they are booked, although the actual flight is in several days, weeks or months time. This allows the company to utilize the liquidity it gets from the prepayments and also finance their capital expensive operations (e.g. plane maitenance).
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How they do it: Netflix’ subscription customers pay their monthly fee upfront. This give the company increased liquidity to operate their business and acquire additional users.
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How they do it: American Express developed the traveller’s cheque in 1891. It is a business model innovation based on the Cash Machine pattern. It emerged from the problem faced by American Express’ own employees who travelled abroad and had difficulty obtaining cash in a foreign country.
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