PayPal Marks a Decade of Mobile Payments

With 2016 marking the tenth anniversary of PayPal in Canada and of PayPal’s mobile payments services in the US, the company is highlighting the growing importance of mobile. In a statement on the company’s website, PayPal Canada General Manager Cameron Schmidt asserts, “Our shopping habits are changing and money is going mobile.”

PayPal Marks a Decade of Mobile PaymentsSchmidt points out that when PayPal’s mobile payment services launched in 2006, they accounted for under one percent of the company’s global transactions, whereas now they account for almost 30 percent. Looking ahead, he points to a number of connected trends, including the increasing digitization of money, rising B2B e-commerce, and increasing collaboration between traditional financial services companies and FinTech upstarts. Schmidt also points to potential opportunities in what he calls “Contextual Commerce”, referring to embedded purchase options in other media channels such as email and social media.

The main point, though, is that mobile is playing an increasing central role in transactions; Schmidt concludes that “[f]or years, we’ve been talking about the power of e-commerce and mobile payments, and we are now finally beginning to see the full potential that this industry can deliver.” Together with its recent renovation of its mobile app and its enabling of NFC for in-store payments, the message sends a strong signal that PayPal intends to compete aggressively in the mobile domain, where it will likely come into increasing conflict with mPayment platforms like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.