“We’re coming into the market at a time when the financial services industry is going through some fundamental shifts,” new PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said at PayPal’s Commerce: Rewind event today. “We’re really thinking how do we re-imagine PayPal almost as a service. PayPal as a SaaS platform.”
A big part of that shift is how consumers are starting to use mobile technology to make purchases.
“The difference between online and offline commerce is basically blurring and disappearing,” Schulman said. PayPal has 165 million active consumers globally. One in three transactions through PayPal is now through a mobile device, according to Shulman.
Schulman believes PayPal can be a leader during this transition with mobile payments. “I can see us having more mobile transactions than we do through desktop,” he said.
We have a lot to do to get there. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are very excited about the path forward. Dan Schulman, PayPal CEO
Much of this is driven by a global mass adoption of mobile. More than 2 billion people around the world are expected to have a smartphone by 2016, according to the latest figures from eMarketer.
The event is a move to establish PayPal as more than a payments platform powered by eBay. PayPal announced last week that it would go public on the Nasdaq as “PYPL,” its original ticker symbol before eBay acquired it. The company plans to spin off from parent company eBay later this year and will go public after that.
PayPal now wants to further its brand as an all-encompassing platform across the web. The company made several announcements today to further establish themselves here, including the ability to link One Touch mobile web to mobile apps. One Touch on mobile has led to as much as 50 percent or greater improvement in conversion rates, according to PayPal.
“You’ll continue to see a lot of innovation from us around that,” PayPal SVP Bill Ready added.
Ready also announced a PayPal partnership with Bigcommerce, an e-commerce software platform for retailers. PayPal has integrated with the platform so that those on Bigcommerce will be able to use PayPal and Braintree within the platform.
PayPal announced several other initiatives today such as the expansion of PayPal Credit products with the offering of Easy Payments, “giving shoppers greater visibility into their finances and helping them better manage their budgets.”
PayPal also announced the beginning of China Connect. PayPal says about a quarter of its payments come from outside the U.S. and that 79 percent of shoppers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Brazil, China and Australia prefer PayPal as their method of global payment. China is a rapidly expanding market, and China Connect will help further PayPal’s cross-border trade initiatives there.
The company also said it would be powering major retailer apps’ in-store purchases with Paydiant. PayPal bought Paydiant, the mobile payments gateway, earlier this year to establish itself among physical merchants as an alternative to other smartphone payments systems offered by other payment hopefuls Google and Apple.
“What we aspire to be is a true customer champion for consumers and merchants. We have a lot to do to get there. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are very excited about the path forward,” Schulman said.