PayPal Rides Venmo as It Heads Toward IPO

  • Philip Ryan
  • July 17, 2015
  • 1

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / mikle15On Monday, PayPal will once again be an independent company. And as it gears up for its big day, the social person-to-person payments service Venmo is the best thing PayPal has going for it.

While PayPal grew a modest 27% in transactions last quarter, Venmo is growing nearly 10 times as fast — up 247% during the quarter, according to earnings data released yesterday. It is also a more loved brand.

PayPal president and CEO-designee Dan Schulman described during eBay’s earnings call yesterday a goal of increasing PayPal’s average usage to two to three times a week from two to three times a month.

And while that is a significant stretch goal for us, we already see this type of usage pattern with our Venmo users. For a generation that has never written a check, Venmo is the way to pay the rent, pay back a friend, and it is in the middle of how the millennial generation manage and moves their money. As a result, in Q2, Venmo processed $1.6 billion of transaction volume, a 247% increase.

PayPal is healthy, and looks to have a brighter future than parent eBay, out-earning it on the quarter. Of the combined company’s $4.4 billion in revenue, PayPal accounted for $2.3 billion and eBay $2.1 billion. PayPal’s growth was 19%, eBay’s just 5%.

Payment volume hit $66 billion for PayPal, up 28% over Q1. PayPal merchant services was up 36%. The company also hit 169 million active users and was recently valued at approximately $44 billion. eBay, meanwhile, was recently valued at about $69 billion, including PayPal.

Schulman described the tech advances PayPal has made in preparing for the upcoming separation:

We have re-architected much of our backend infrastructure and consequently have sped up payment processing by up to 50% in the past year, and reduced time to push code live to site by more than half. We are a fully agile software development shop; now, one of the largest in the world. And being agile allows us to innovate more quickly, integrate more effectively, and introduce new products or deploy in new markets faster than ever.

The example Schulman chose during yesterday’s earnings call to illuminate this was One Touch, a checkout button built for mobile and formerly known as Venmo Touch.

One Touch was started on our Braintree platform, but as we’ve integrated the PayPal and Braintree software stacks, we were able to migrate its functionality within six months to our traditional PayPal payment flows in the U.S., UK, and Canada, with many other markets targeted for later this year. And while it will take time to properly deploy One Touch through our various payment flows, we expect it to be available for over 50% of our U.S. transactions by yearend. Braintree continues to be the payments partner of choice for mobile disruptors and innovators.

Braintree technology and the Venmo experience are the future of PayPal. Schulman also discussed the recent Xoom acquisition, bolstering PayPal’s international remittance capability. He was, as would be expected, positive about it.

Full speed ahead — see you Monday, PYPL!

Join PayPal and host of other innovative companies at Bank Innovation Israel in November — request your invitation here.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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