Lost in Translation: How Customer Insights Drove Product Innovation for a Global Company

A core PayPal product (sending money peer-to-peer digitally) was ready to be “globalized” for the emerging Indian market, by being offered in 12 Indian languages.

The India roadmap was set, the product strategy was baked. The languages were simply going to be turned “on.” However, customer research on the nuances of language, tech use, and culture revealed rich insights that changed the localization frameworks, solutions, and approach.

These insights are even more relevant given the recent increase of people turning to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this research was completed pre-pandemic, the findings underscore the need to democratize digital products by making them accessible across cultures, contexts, and languages.  

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