PayPal Transforms From Payment System To Marketing Powerhouse

PayPal continues to transform from an electronic payment system to a marketing powerhouse with several acquisitions and changes in customer behavior, accelerated by COVID-19.

New services have caught the interest of CMOs and vice presidents of marketing as they come under pressure to grow profitability, driven largely by a significant changes in commerce and rising competition.

With PayPal’s acquisition of Honey in 2019, allowing retailers to connect with customers online and offline, and a buy-now pay-later program, the company began to have new conversations with CMOs. They face increasing pressure to grow profitability, driven largely by a significant changes in commerce and rising competition. 

PayPal has transformed into much more than a digital payment system. “It’s changed the conversation from just online to mobile and in stores,” said Marcy Campbell, PayPal vice president and general manager in North America, as well as the company’s new digital ecommerce initiative.

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With about 360 million global customers and 26 million merchants on PayPal, the company continues to prove its place in marketing and advertising as a strategic partner for brands and retailers as they search for ways to stand out from the crowd and drive customer acquisition and loyalty.  

For example, PayPal’s and Venmo’s mobile app QR code no-touch payment system launched last year at 8,000 CVS brick-and-mortar stores. About 2,500 merchants now are deploying this across North America.

Retail stores are integrating offers and loyalty points, she said. The acquisition of Honey heightened awareness of PayPal’s services among CMOs, especially in retail. Now with the increase in ecommerce during 2020, partnerships with retailers continue to skyrocket.  

Jetlore, another acquisition in 2018, brought PayPay artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and retargeting. It gave PayPal the technology to identify a PayPal customer at a website, and the ability for a merchant to retarget the consumer with a discount for a future purchase if if they don’t purchase anything.

“We think we can drive more conversion, not only to the PayPal website, but also into stores," Campbell says. “Even in conversations with Nike, we’re talking to the head of their retail stores.”

Transactions in the third quarter of 2020 reached just more than $4 billion -- growing 30% year-over-year, according to the company’s Q3 2010 filings. It’s the first time the company has processed more than $4 billion transactions in a quarter. Core PayPal daily active accounts also increased 32% versus a year ago.

By the end of this quarter, PayPal believes that the Venmo checkout experience will mirror the PayPal’s, and the Venmo credit card will be fully rolled out.

For PayPal and Venmo in particular, COVID-19 created a digital experience and a shift that no one, including Campbell, could have imagined. 

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