PayPal Will Grow P2P Opportunities By ‘Going After’ Cash

EXCLUSIVE- P2P is changing, as new entrants like Zelle come into the market, which means payments companies have a lot of opportunities to hit or miss the technology.

One of the reigning P2P champions, PayPal, is keeping its approach to this expanding market simple: by remembering that cash is still king for the majority of commerce.

“Our view on this is that the opportunity is to go after cash. Cash is still 85% of commerce, and still counts as 85% of value passed between people,” John Kunze, vice president, global consumer product, Xoom and TIO Networks for PayPal, said during a panel at the Finovate Fall conference in New York.  

While PayPal will be focused on tapping into that value, it will also be keeping its approach to P2P somewhat segmented — there will be “no winner in P2P,” according to Kunze.

“It’s like saying there will be a winner in shopping, because there’s lots of different kinds of P2P,” said Kunze. Kunze echoed the comments of fellow panelist Scott Harkey, global payments lead for boutique payments firm Levvel, with both noting that customer use of P2P services is highly dependent on use case.

“You have new products coming into the market like Zelle… you have the big players, the Apples and the Googles of the world that are focused on experience and trying to figure out what the right experience is,” said Harkey. “But then you have other parts of the world where there’s a whole different approach to the market, with experiences and then payment just becomes a piece of that. I think it’s really exciting to see what works within those markets and in each of those use cases.”

That’s not to say PayPal will be changing what works.  Its P2P app Venmo will remain an “experience-based platform” for millennial users, according to Kunze, something that should translate well to even younger users–like the first Gen Zers heading off to college.

“In our case, Venmo transcends even younger age groups, and we think as those kids age into 18 and above and can use [apps] like Venmo, that we’re going to be well positioned there,” said Kunze.

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