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PayPal Mobile generating $6M daily in total payment volume

PayPal

Rich deposits for PayPal

Mobile payment volume on PayPal Mobile is expected to more than double by year’s end to cross $2 billion.

The eBay-owned payments service currently generates up to $6 million in total payment volume each day, showing an unprecedented pace of growth at a time when consumers are migrating to mobile.

“Increased use of smartphones and consumer adoption of mobile shopping are contributing to the rapid growth of mobile payments,” said Shimone Samuel, product experience manager for PayPal Mobile, San Jose, CA.

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“At PayPal, we are definitely seeing this as a growing trend,” he said.

Last year, more than 5 million customers used PayPal’s mobile products, generating $750 million in total payment volume. And the payments service continues to expect that consumers will ramp up shopping with their mobile phone and devices.

Check mate
Only last week, PayPal updated its Android application to let U.S. consumers transfer checks by snapping a picture of the document in yet another move that keeps traffic away from retail banking locations. This development comes soon after the market response to a similar iPhone offering.

Android users nationwide can now add money from their checks by taking a photo of the document. The money gets added to their PayPal account, with the ability to let users store the app on Android’s removable SD card.

On average, about $1 million per month has been uploaded since PayPal launched mobile check capture on the iPhone.

As Mr. Samuel points out, that is a lot of people skipping the ATM, depositing a check with their phone and not paying any fees for the privilege.

In this extensive Q&A, Mr. Samuel outlines PayPal’s mobile plans, the state of mobile payments and what irritates consumers most about mobile commerce transactions. Please read on.

What’s so unique about this effort that moves the needle for mobile payments?
Continuing to innovate on the mobile platform has been a focus for PayPal since 2006.

By providing new features in the PayPal Mobile for Android application, PayPal is furthering the consumer’s ability to do more from their phones in a safe and convenient way.

This, in turn, will lead to more widespread adoption that will change the way we use mobile payments across the board.

As the Android platform is experiencing a lot of growth, providing consumers with a variety of device options, PayPal is also about offering our customers convenience anytime, anywhere and on the platform of their choice.

Anything different in the Android app versus the Apple?
The PayPal Mobile application for Android includes many features also available on the iPhone including Bump to send money, Mobile Check Capture, donations and the ability to create a PayPal account from the mobile phone.

One unique feature to the Android application is the SD card support, which allows users to save the application onto a SD card, providing more internal memory on your mobile device.

As our app matures, we will continue to identify what unique capabilities the Android and iPhone platforms offer that would benefit our customers.

Are consumers gravitating toward mobile payments, or is it slow-going?
Increased use of smartphones and consumer adoption of mobile shopping are contributing to the rapid growth of mobile payments.

At PayPal, we are definitely seeing this as a growing trend.

By the end of 2010, more than 5 million customers were using our mobile products, generating $750 million in total payment volume. And we expect consumers will continue shopping with their mobile phone.

In fact, we anticipate our mobile payment volume will more than double by the end of 2011 to more than $2 billion.

Currently we are seeing that mobile is generating up to $6 million in total payment volume per day.

What makes PayPal Mobile an attractive option for merchants over other payment methods?
The number of people carrying a phone largely outnumbers those carrying a laptop.

A phone is with you all the time and this allows merchants to capture their audience any time of day, not just during peak retail shopping hours.

It helps bridge the gap between impulse shopper and impulse buyer – on the train, bored in a queue [and] last-minute purchases.

Because of the limited screen size and bandwidth, mobile sites are inherently optimized for a quick and seamless experience.

In many cases a merchants mobile site is easier to use than their desktop site – especially when consumers know what their looking for: shop, add, checkout, purchase.

Merchants already using our Express Checkout for the Web will be delighted to use our Express Checkout for mobile.

A number of well-known brands including Starbucks, Nike, Buy.com and 1800flowers.com offer their customers payment via Mobile Express Checkout.

What are retailers’ biggest frustrations with mobile payments? And consumers?
For consumers the biggest frustration is time wasted. You have a tiny device, limited time and bandwidth.

There's convenience associated with a mobile device, and any shopping experience that is inconvenient is all the more frustrating.

For example, going through the trouble of getting to the checkout process only to find time-consuming additional steps, filling out form fields for name, shipping address, billing address, phone number and credit card information – who has the patience for all that?

These barriers to payment need to be swept aside and with Mobile Express Checkout you have access to 98 million PayPal customers who only have to fill out two form fields to access their payment information.

For merchants, the frustration is their customer's expectations.

Consumers expect their needs to be met wherever they choose to shop: in person, on a desktop, a laptop or a mobile phone.

This presents a challenge for merchants: how do you satisfy a customer whose habits you're unfamiliar with?

By now merchants likely have enough data to predict consumer behavior in the store or on the computer, but mobile?
Consumers don't care that it's new technology. They expect your Web site to work just as good as any app on their phone, and if it doesn't you may not only lose the customer to a competitor but also a customer for the retail or desktop as well.

Editor in Chief Mickey Alam Khan covers advertising agencies, associations, research and mobile marketing issues, as well as column submissions. Reach him at mickey@napean.com.

 
Related content: Banking and payments, Shimone Samuel, PayPal Mobile, mobile payments, eBay, mobile commerce, mobile marketing, mobile

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