After more than a decade as a subsidiary of eBay, online payments provider PayPal was spun off as an independent company in 2015. Over the previous decade, it had been that group's fastest-growing and most lucrative division. Initially regarded as an inhouse payment processing arm for the online auction business, it quickly outstripped its original purpose, becoming a general tool for easy virtual payments. Increasingly the business is being positioned as a payment services provider in its own right, with its own direct relationship with major retailers, allowing customers to use their Paypal accounts to pay for goods in-store as well as online. The group also launched its own credit and debit cards, a consumer finance offering in the US in partnership with lender Synchrony, and has introduced person-to-person payment services under the Xoom banner, acquired in 2015, and mobile apps Venmo and Braintree. It has continued to acquire a series of other smaller service providers to broaden its own coverage. These include iZettle and Hypermarket, both added to the portfolio in 2018, followed by Honey and China's Guofubao (or GoPay) in 2019. PayPal processed 12.4bn transactions during 2019 from 281m active consumer accounts worldwide and 24m merchants. Revenues were $17.8bn, with net income of almost $2.5bn. Total payment volumes were over $712bn, up almost a quarter on the year before. Just over half of revenues were generated in the US, and almost 11% in the UK, Paypal's biggest international market. Dan Schulman is CEO. The PayPal concept was originally launched in 1999, and was acquired the following year by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who floated it in 2002. It was acquired by eBay later the same year for $1.5bn.
Capsule checked 11th January 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 8th Sep 2021: Paypal continues to expand its global footprint, especially in the fast-growing "buy now, pay later" sector. In its latest addition, it agreed to acquire Japanese online credit provider Paidy for $2.7bn. Like a virtual credit card service, Paidy allows Japanese shoppers to make purchases online and then make monthly payments in a single consolidated bill.
Adbrands Daily Update 21st Nov 2019: In its biggest acquisition to-date Paypal has bought Honey, the digital shopping voucher service, for $4bn. The service is free to customers, funded by commissions from sales by partner retailers. Revenues last year were $100m. Honey aggregates discount codes and vouchers for thousands of online retailers including brands like eBay, Sephora, Macy's, Adidas and Expedia, and also tracks prices for specified products so that shoppers can take advantage of the best available deal at any time. The acquisition will also allow the 24m merchants who are signed up to Paypal to tailor custom-built offers to Honey's 17m registered users.
Adbrands Daily Update 15th Jan 2019: Paypal named tech industry veteran Allison Johnson as EVP & group chief marketing officer, a role that has been vacant since 2013. Johnson spent six years until 2011 at Apple as VP worldwide marketing communications, and another six years before that in a similar role at HP. More recently she ran her own marketing & venture capital studio West.
Adbrands Social Media 14th Nov 2018: "Uncle Awesome". We're still six weeks till Christmas and it seems like every company and its dog has already unveiled a special seasonal campaign. It's like a global tinsel-topped Super Bowl out there. There are plenty of losers, but also quite a few winners, in many cases from some unexpected sources. One such is this cute campaign for Paypal Europe from French hotshop Buzzman, who can usually be relied upon to find the gold in any creative brief. Just when you began to think you've seen this ad a hundred times before, it comes up with a heart-warming reverse twist. Perhaps Uncle Awesome isn't so much of an a**hole as we all thought.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd July 2015: PayPal set about strengthening its position ahead of its spin-off from eBay, expected before the end of this month. It agreed to acquire money transfer competitor Xoom for $892m. Though it's headquartered in San Francisco, Xoom has a strong presence in developing markets such as Mexico, India, the Philippines and China, whereas PayPal is mainly concentrated at present on the US and the UK. Xoom will continue to operate as a separate brand, run by current CEO John Kunze. It reported revenues of $159m, on transaction volumes of around $7bn.
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