When it comes to digital payments, Paypal is miles ahead of the pack. They’ve found a way to make digital easy to use, they make us feel safe doing it and they provide great customer service. They started out as a piggy bank for online purchases but have grown to become a major asset for small businesses providing options for invoicing, accepting mobile payments, even check scanning so you don’t have to go to a bank.
Recently, the company released some impressive numbers to sum things up.
What are people buying with their PayPal accounts? Many are using it to by $20 goodies from eBay or lunch on the run. Some use it to pay bills or to split the check at the end of a night with friends.
Some, however, are using it to buy large, expensive and unusual items such as these:
- $46,500 white gold necklace dripping with 125 diamonds totaling 31.3 carats
- $48,000 Caterpillar bulldozer
- $46,000 coin collection including a rare 1918 penny worth $12,000
- $40,000 men’s diamond chain necklace
- $40,000 original painting from Romanian-born cubist artist Nechita Alexandra
Looks like $40,000 is the magic number. I not only can’t fathom spending that kind of money through Paypal, I can’t even imagine spending that kind of money on a single item – period. At least the bulldozer is a practical item that will help the owner make money bu the rest. . .yikes.
PayPal also did incredibly well during the Black Friday weekend. Check out these increases over last year.
- On Cyber Monday 2012, PayPal saw a 190% increase in global mobile payment volume compared to Cyber Monday 2011.
- On Black Friday 2012, PayPal saw a 193% increase in global mobile payment volume compared to Black Friday 2011.
- On Thanksgiving Day 2012, PayPal saw a 173% increase in global mobile payment volume compared to Thanksgiving Day 2011.
What this shows is a level of comfort with digital payments that we haven’t seen before.
The Future of Digital Payments
David Marcus, President of PayPal posted his 2013 predictions to the company blog and I think he’s spot on. He talks about the current shift toward the mobile wallet and how it’s still not making life easier. You can swipe a card through a terminal or wave your phone at it. Either way, you have to fish something out of your pocket and make it so. One isn’t easier than the other.
Where he expects to see change is in the areas of convenience and rewards. Businesses need to start combining loyalty cards, coupons and payment in one place. Currently, when I go to the grocery store, I have to scan my loyalty card, which removes some coupons, hand over paper coupons and sometimes a paper check for funds accumulated through my loyalty program. Inevitably, I miss something. Putting payments and rewards in one place would streamline the process and would encourage me to keep buying from your store.
Marcus also predicts the rise of the mobile cash register. Why do we have to stand in line just to pay digitally? Why can’t that happen in the aisles? I’ve seen grocery stores experimenting with a system that has you scan items as you put them in your cart so once you hit your last aisle, you hit the checkout button, pay and you’re done. Obviously, there are theft and honesty issues involved, but it’s a direction and we’re headed that way.
What do you see in the future for digital payments?