Every day the noise about "mobile wallets" gets louder in this
industry. It's certainly a great catch phrase and makes for an easy
headline, but what are we really talking about? A mobile
wallet … a digital wallet … a cloud
wallet …. or whatever you want to call it … is
really just another way to store your money and pay for the things
you want. And we're constraining ourselves by looking back towards
a physical item when technology is taking us so much further
Paying for things is something PayPal transformed nearly 15
years ago, and we have seen an amazing runway of new developments
since then. We do more mobile payment volume than anyone else --
$14 Billion last year, a 250 percent increase in a single year. We
also released exciting updates for the iPad and, just this week,
the Android platform. And
top industry groups have recognized PayPal's market
leadership, with 75 percent of all American consumers equating
digital wallets with PayPal.
However, as the ecosystem buzzes about the latest catch phrase,
it's important to point out that wallets (in any form) are only a
sliver in the story of how PayPal is transforming commerce, and
more importantly, the lives of our 128 million customers. Mobile
plays a key part, but it's not just about paying for a smoothie or
coffee with your phone (or anything else), or just adding and
holding your financial information on your phone. The opportunity
is more than that - it's about solving real customer problems that
make shopping experiences more seamless, connected, friction free
and almost intuitive.
PayPal can help your favorite burger joint start that plate of
sweet potato fries the second you check-in and order ahead. At the
coffee shop, you shouldn't have to wait in line, order and pay for
coffee. By knowing who you are before you walk in, the barista can
have your favorite drink ready. It's a clothing store thinking
ahead for you and delivering highly personalized offers based on
who you are, where you are and what you've done in the past (and
might do in the future). It's about relevant and real time coupons
and offers that are tailored specifically to each user.
Enabling these elegant experiences and connections for consumers
and retailers is what we're working on everyday at PayPal. We're
finding new ways that both simplify our daily lives and make
exciting things possible to deepen our connections to merchants and
each other. We're turning all those 1s and 0s into something far
more personal and meaningful than simply exchanging currency.
That isn't a catch phrase.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the day where
I can lose my wallet altogether - both the word and the physical
object. There's so much more we can do with technology,
there's so much more we can do to make life easier for our
customers everyday, and I don't want words, a catch phrase or
misconceptions to hold us back.
We're just PayPal. Onwards!
- David Marcus, President of PayPal