Incoming PayPal boss Schulman on the future of digital commerce

Source: PayPal

Today in San Francisco at “Commerce: Rewired” – a PayPal event for the media and industry analysts – I spoke about the sweeping technology trends that are revolutionizing financial services and my vision for the role that PayPal is playing in driving this transformation.

Seventeen years ago, PayPal built the foundation for e-commerce by making it secure and convenient to send money through email. We’ve been a driving force behind the expansion of e-commerce ever since – both online and via mobile devices. Today, online and mobile shopping accounts for $2.5 trillion in annual retail sales. PayPal processes nearly 12.5 million payments for our customers every single day.

That’s a nice piece of a large and growing market. But the real potential is many times larger. We believe that the most important trend in business right now is the convergence of online and physical world commerce through mobile experiences. Together, they form a unified world of commerce worth $25 trillion.

This convergence has profound implications. It’s not simply about tapping your phone to pay instead of handing over cash or a swiping card. It’s about reinventing how people spend and save, and making it simpler and safer to move and manage money. It’s about reimagining the retail experience so that shopping is more personal, more convenient, and more secure. It’s about rethinking financial services so that everyone, everywhere can access the financial services they need to live the lives they dream about.

Right now, we’re in the greatest period of disruption and transformation in the history of money. One clear sign that these changes are already well underway – a couple of years ago, 50 percent of the money that passed through consumers’ wallets was cash or checks. A couple years from now, physical money will account for just 25 percent of transactions.

Mobile technology is driving this transformation – no technology has ever achieved mass adoption as quickly. PayPal was at the forefront of this transformation and today, PayPal is creating the operating system for digital commerce. Our vision is to be an everyday part of consumers’ financial lives and serve as a comprehensive payment partner for merchants.

Because we built one of the world’s leading open digital payments platform, we’re in a unique position to achieve this vision. By delivering a platform that is technology and payment agnostic, we’re making it possible for people to move and manage their money whenever they want and wherever they are, on whatever device they have at hand. As all commerce becomes digital, PayPal will be the one solution partner merchants trust to help them create seamless shopping experiences that strengthen engagement with their customers, while protecting their security.

Many companies are working on one piece or another of the complex array of systems and services that make up the world of digital commerce. But PayPal spans the entire digital financial universe – from payment processing to digital wallets, merchant accounts to peer-to-peer money transfers, single touch transactions to credit for consumers and merchants, and from risk analysis and fraud prevention to regulatory compliance.

We’re different in one other critically important way. Unlike many organizations in payments and financial services, we built our platform around principles that align PayPal’s interests with the interests of those we serve. We succeed when our customers succeed. We grow when we make it easier for people to move and manage money and connect to the things they value. We thrive when we help merchants deepen their knowledge of their customers while respecting their privacy.

Money plays such an important role in our everyday lives. It’s essential to how people meet their needs, express who they are, and fulfill their dreams. As the disruption and transformation of financial services gains speed, we at PayPal are excited about the limitless opportunities to make money work for people in ways that it never has before.

Dan Schulman, PayPal President and CEO Designee 

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