Any thought that PayPal’s current focus on enabling mobile payments and commerce might be a passing fancy can pretty much be put to rest. In an investor call on Wednesday, PayPal parent company eBay announced strong growth for Q4 2012, and company executives discussed the big impact mobile played in those results.
“(M)obile is rewriting the commerce playbook,” said eBay CEO John Donahoe on the call. “At an extraordinary pace, consumers are embracing mobile as the everyday way to shop and pay.” He added that mobile technology is accelerating Web-enabled multi-channel retail innovation and eBay is becoming a leader in the mobile commerce revolution.
“Our mobile focus is delivering exceptional mobile volume growth, attracting millions of new consumers to our core businesses and enabling our retail and brand partners to engage their customers in new ways,” Donahoe said. “Mobile is quickly becoming the new normal, and we’re leading this new way consumers shop and pay.”
For the full year, eBay reported that PayPal processed more than $14 billion in mobile payments. That’s a 250 percent increase over 2011’s $4 billion in mobile volume. What’s more, that $14 billion represents a significant increase over the company’s initial projection of $10 billion in mobile payment volume for 2012. eBay is now projecting that mobile payment volume will increase to $20 billion in 2013.
Along with increases in mobile volume, the company also highlighted the spate of recent announcements on PayPal’s offline strategy. Earlier this week at the National Retail Federation conference in New York City, PayPal announced a partnership with NCR. The companies will work together to intergrate PayPal as a payment method across a substantial base of NCR restaurant and retail customers.
Donahoe also mentioned that PayPal has partnered with 23 major U.S. retailers to accept PayPal as a payment type at the point of sale, including Home Depot, Foot Locker and Jamba Juice. The company had only expected to have 16 retailers on board by the end of 2012.
The Jamba Juice partnership received particular attention. PayPal is testing an order-ahead service with the fruit-smoothie chain at its Emeryville, Calif., location. Consumers can order ahead on their smartphones, pay using PayPal and have their smoothies waiting when they arrive.
Donahoe said the recent announcements demonstrate that PayPal is focused on solving real pain points for consumers while also creating value for merchants.
“We’re building great product experiences, making sure PayPal is available everywhere and leveraging our ability to drive payment innovation globally,” he said.
PayPal ended 2012 with 123 million account holders world wide. Revenue for eBay across all of its buiness lines increased 21 percent from 2011 to $14.1 billion.
The company said it enabled more than $175 billion of commerce volume during the year, which represented 19 percent of global e-commerce and nearly 2 percent of all retail sales worldwide.