Jul 19 , 2010

PayPal reaches out to cash-weary Canadians

By Robin Arnfield, News Editor

PayPal Canada is stepping up its efforts to attract Canadians who are ready for alternatives to cash. Currently, 4 million active Canadian PayPal users are running up C$2 billion in annual transactions.

“PayPal is satisfying a move against cash by Canadian Internet users,” says Darrell MacMullin, PayPal Canada’s general manager. To prove his point, he points to a recent online survey of 1,551 adult Canadians conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of PayPal Canada.

Over half of the survey respondents said they did not want to have to find an ATM every time they needed to pay someone back, and one-in-four respondents who were under the age of 35 said they never used cheques.

The study also revealed that Canadians are embracing their mobile phone as their digital wallet. Three-in-10 respondents who used their mobile phone to transfer money, said their use had increased over the past five years. One-in-five said that, if they could, they would use their mobile phone to pay for everyday purchases from a retailer or to buy their morning coffee or lunch.

PayPal is stepping up efforts to increase use of customer digital wallets for person-to-person payments with services such as PayPal Send Money and Square Up with PayPal.

Square Up is a Facebook application that allows users, who have organized a Facebook event, to split the cost with friends and keep track of what is owed.

PayPal has released the PayPal Send Money app which allows users to access their digital wallet on their smartphone. Apps are available for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android handsets.

In February 2010, Facebook and PayPal announced a strategic relationship to offer PayPal as a payment method for Facebook advertising and credits. The move is significant for cross-border payments since Facebook reaches 400 million people, 70 percent of whom live outside the U.S.

PayPal sees international payments and money transfers as core to its activities, MacMullin says. PayPal is available in 24 currencies and 190 markets.

International revenues represent about 45 per cent of San Jose, California-based PayPal’s total global revenues. PayPal’s international business generated US$363 million in revenue in Q1 2010, up 35 percent year-on-year. PayPal’s revenues for Q1 2010 were US$809 million, up 26 percent year-on-year.

Despite the efforts to grow person-to-person payments, the Merchant Services segment remains the mainstay of PayPal’s revenues. In Q1 2010, the Merchant Services segment’s total payment volume accounted for 59 percent of the total company’s payment volume of US$12.5 billion. The Merchant Services payment volume was up 49 percent year-over-year.



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